PORTLAND, Ore. — During an enforcement mission Sunday night, Portland police officers arrested two men for street racing and cited several other drivers.
Officers saw two people racing in the area of North Marine Drive and North Leadbetter Road late Sunday night. According to police, much of the street racing in Portland happens around Marine Drive.
"In the past few years, we've had a number of complaints and crashes involving speed racing; some along Marine Drive, some along Airport Way," said Portland police Sgt. Pete Simpson.
Officers made the two arrests and issued nine citations to drivers. One motorcycle rider raced away from police, crashed and fled on foot. That rider has not been located.
The two men arrested were 18-year-old Paul Paliy and 24-year-old Petro Hurzhuy. Both were booked into the Multnomah County Jail. Paliy was charged with three counts of reckless driving and three counts of reckless endangerment. Petro was charged with five counts of reckless endangerment and three counts of reckless driving.
Two cars, a 2012 Subaru Impreza WRX and 2011 BMW M3 convertible, were towed from the scene.
"Sometimes hundreds of cars gather at the same spot, there's a bit of a car show feel, and there's a lot of good people and they're into the car culture and we understand that," Simpson said. "We're asking them, do not get behind the wheel and drag race down the street because it could cost someone their life."
Four people have died in Portland since 2015 in crashes involving street racing, police said.
The other two deaths occurred while racing, including 20-year-old Nick Chernyavskiy in 2016 and 19-year-old Daniel Kharlamov in April of this year.
Future enforcement missions like Sunday's will be conducted as staffing allows, said Simpson.
"We want them to know we're out there, we're doing this, we're going to be looking in the future. If you're caught doing one of these events, you can be arrested, your car will be towed, your insurance will be canceled and you're going to have a hard time getting a driver's license," said Simpson. "It's better to take that car down to the track, pay a little extra money and do it the right way."