With children out trick-or-treating this holiday weekend, police will be on the lookout for any street racing or takeover sideshows.
Police blame an intersection takeover for a deadly crash that happened last weekend.
The risk is part of the thrill for those who revel in street takeovers and side shows, which poses a risk not only to themselves, but to others.
Takeover crews often choose Sunday nights, and this Sunday, sidewalks will be busy with kids for Halloween.
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“We know that the sideshows take off, they call it ‘Sunday fun day,’” said Captain Bryan Wendling, LAPD Valley/West Traffic Commander.
What worries LAPD Captain Brian Wendling is that illegal street showboating or racing often ends in chaos and tragedy, like in the crash last weekend.
The suspect in an SUV was running from a responding LAPD unit when it lost control and crashed into a building hosting a pre-Halloween gathering.
One woman was killed and others were injured.
“It’s horrible, there were little kids, about 20 little kids inside that club,” Wendling said.
And with the sidewalks expected to be busy with kids out for Halloween this Sunday, this warning and appeal not only from law-enforcement, but from families mourning lives lost.
“I am going to do everything I can to avoid something that is 100% preventable,” said Lili Trujillo, Founder of Street Racing Kills.
Trujillo’s daughter Valentina was 16, a passenger in a car that became involved in a street race and crashed, taking her life.
Trujillo still has Valentina’s earring plug and necklace. “I wear it and show it to students. This is all that’s left,” she said.
Bethany Holguin was killed when her car was struck by another that ran a stop during a street race. Her aunt Laurie Argumedo.
“When we buried Bethany, I promised to keep her memory alive,that her death was not in vain,” said Lori Argumedo, Bethany’s aunt.
In recent years, we have ridden along with the street racing task force.
Since then, intersection takeovers have become more prevalent and more of a concern. New legislation could cost participants their drivers licenses.
“There is evidence that driver's license suspension has a deterrent effect,” said Assemblyman Vince Fong, R-Bakersfield.
“So parents be vigilant. If you hear racing engines, load up your car and get out of the area,” Wendling said.
Sometimes, police get advance Intel on a planned takeover, but other times there’s little notice before the word goes out on social media.
Locations vary and it becomes a cat and mouse game, with responding police invariably outnumbered as the takeover crew scatters.