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Florida police arrest 69 people in street racing bust, including juveniles

St. Petersburg, Florida, police shut down a street racing event Saturday night, resulting in the arrests of 69 people, many of whom were juveniles, while impounding 23 vehicles.

The St. Petersburg Police Department said a major operation, which was assisted by the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office, Pinellas Park Police and Florida Highway Patrol, was executed to shut down a street racing event at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday.

St. Petersburg Police Press Conference Street Racing

St. Petersburg police Assistant Chief Antonio Gilliam, who is standing at the lectern, speaks to reporters and photographers about a street racing operation that resulted in 69 arrests and 23 vehicles impounded late Saturday, 04/22/23, and early Sunday, 04/23/23. Gilliam was flanked by representatives from the PInellas County Sheriffs Office, Pinellas Park Police Department, the Florida Highway Patrol on the right and SPPD Sgt. Michael Schade on his left. (St. Petersburg Police Department)

Dozens of people were gathered in a parking lot between two buildings on Roosevelt Boulevard to watch vehicles perform donuts, burnouts and other types of dangerous street racing activity.

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Investigators learned the event at the parking lot was just a warm-up, and the group planned to take over major intersections in Pinellas County.

When law enforcement officers arrived, they surrounded the parking lot with over 50 patrol cruisers, arresting 69 people.

St. Petersburg Street Racing Mugshots

St. Petersburg, Florida police arrested 69 people for charges related to a street racing event on Saturday, April 22. Several of the people arrested were juveniles, though 40 were not. (St. Petersburg Police Department)

Police said the 69 people arrested included underaged individuals and a couple who brought their 1-year-old and 3-year-old to the event.

St. Petersburg Street Racing Mugshots

St. Petersburg, Florida police arrested 69 people for charges related to a street racing event on Saturday, April 22. Several of the people arrested were juveniles, though 40 were not. (St. Petersburg Police Department)

The suspects face charges such as fleeing and eluding and child endangerment, all felonies, as well as street racing, driving with a suspended license and obstruction, all misdemeanors.

St. Petersburg Street Racing Mugshots

St. Petersburg, Florida police arrested 69 people for charges related to a street racing event on Saturday, April 22. Several of the people arrested were juveniles, though 40 were not. (St. Petersburg Police Department)

Broken down, police issued 57 misdemeanors, 12 felonies and 24 citations.

St. Petersburg Street Racing Mugshots

St. Petersburg, Florida police arrested 69 people for charges related to a street racing event on Saturday, April 22. Several of the people arrested were juveniles, though 40 were not. (St. Petersburg Police Department)

According to a press release from the St. Petersburg Police Department, the operation was part of an ongoing effort to stop illegal street racing in Pinellas County.

St. Petersburg Street Racing Mugshots

St. Petersburg, Florida police arrested 69 people for charges related to a street racing event on Saturday, April 22. Several of the people arrested were juveniles, though 40 were not. (St. Petersburg Police Department)

“The participants drive at high rates of speed and display driving stunts that are dangerous for the drivers and onlookers,” the release read. “On January 29, 13-year-old Ethan Martin was killed at a street racing event he attended with his father in St. Petersburg.”

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Ethan’s father, Johnny Julio Martin, was charged with child neglect after his son was killed when a motorcycle traveling 100 mph crashed as they watched illegal street racing.

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