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Illegal street racing rocked Chicago over the weekend, leading to the death of a 40-year-old woman and leaving six Chicago PD vehicles damaged by fireworks and bricks when officers tried to break up one of the crowds.
“People think this is fun behavior,” Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said this week, according to Fox 32. “What we need to do is make this a very serious criminal offense.”
In one incident, a 27-year-old man and 19-year-old woman were speeding down on Cicero near 65th Street early Sunday morning when the man changed lanes and hit the female driver, as well as a 40-year-old woman at a crosswalk. The 40-year-old woman was taken to an area hospital and died.
Later that night at about 3 a.m., police responded to a report of an officer in distress, Chicago police told Fox News Digital. Responding officers were met by a large group of individuals blocking an intersection in the city’s Pilsen neighborhood who had been street racing, according to local reports. The group of people lobed rocks, fireworks and bricks at police vehicles, leaving six cars damaged, police told Fox News Digital.
Video on social media show a large group of people confronting the patrol cars, kicking the vehicles and shouting at the officers.
Footage also showed a large police presence of officers walking through the streets accompanied by law enforcement vehicles and K-9s.
Some of the people who took part in the Pilsen incident were also involved in a street takeover in the West Loop, according to police.
“I heard it in my apartment just down the block, like, around 2 a.m.,” Molly Rippert, a West Loop resident, told WLS. “We’re the part of the town that’s pretty sleepy at night. So, for this kind of commotion to happen at 2 a.m., we knew something was up.”
Chicago police arrested nine people over the weekend and impounded seven cars as part of a new law in the city that allows police to seize vehicles used in such street racing activities. Police are pursuing an additional 22 vehicles over the incidents.
“They highlight their drag racing on social media. But that’s evidence for us to tow their car at a later date. So, a warning to those trying to sensationalize drag racing, thank you because we’re gonna charge you and tow your car with up to a ten-thousand dollar fine,” Brown said.