Orange County sheriff's crackdown on street racing paying off

Saturday night sweeps shutting down pre-dawn racing

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County sheriff’s deputies report a dramatic decrease in street racing since the agency
launched a new initiative to stop illegal racing March 10.

Capt. Bruce McMullen, head of the Sector 4 unit, told News 6 the impact over the past eight weeks has been impressive.

As of Saturday, 266 citations and 29 arrests have been documented, most related to the illegal racing circuit.

“In times past, there has been a lot of racing activity out here," McMullen said. “Tonight you’re seeing for yourself, it’s minimal.”

The difference between News 6's first reporting on the street racing events to this past Saturday night was dramatic.

News 6 joined McMullen and special ops deputies from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday into Sunday to document the anticipated illegal runs.

Deputies were convinced Cinco De Mayo would bring out larger-than-usual crowds, but instead, no racing was reported in the area.

The data for the five-hour sweep included 23 vehicle stops, 16 citations and six arrests, three of which were on suspicion of narcotics possession.

While the crackdown has delivered the intended effect, deputies say the defiance from diehard racers
is still there.

Cpl. Yehuda Green, who has been assigned to the street-racing unit since its start, said the attitude is undeniable.

“We’re seeing the subculture, the people who want to see it, to hang out, partake in drinking, and illegal narcotics," Green said. “People that just want to hang out and create a sense of lawlessness.”

By 3 a.m., deputies had no reports of racing, although modified cars and motorcycles were gathered at food truck areas,  as well as a local Wawa and 7-Eleven.

Two suspects were arrested on charges of driving unregistered vehicles.  

News 6 viewers have provided tips and video to help in the racing crackdown.

“The last couple of weeks, we have really noticed a decrease," McMullen said. “We’re going to maintain the pressure, we’re not going to let up, we’ve got this thing planned out through the rest of the year and beyond that.”

If you spot illegal racing or know of a location being used by racers, you are asked to call the Orange County Sheriff’s Office at 407-836-4357.

As always, if it is an emergency call  911.

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