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Eight people arrested for illegal street racing, street takeovers in Portland

Portland Police have started cracking down on illegal street racing and street takeovers after Portland City Council passed a city ordinance this summer.

PORTLAND, Ore. — More street takeovers happened in Portland this past weekend around the city and led to eight arrests, more than a dozen citations and several cars towed, police said.  

Street takeovers have become more apparent in the city in recent months and refer to people using a road or space open to the public, such as a parking lot, freeway or alley, for exhibitions of speed or stunt-driving in circles or around corners.

Authorities said one occurred outside Benson High School in Southeast Portland Sunday night, as well as near the intersections of Northeast 15th Avenue and Killingsworth Street and Southeast 48th Avenue and Division Street.

Allison Keeney lives near 48th and Division and heard the commotion Sunday night.

"Just like loud, screeching noises or sometimes smoke billowing up in the sky, cars making noises," she said. "It's definitely alarming and not something you
want to hear when you're walking your dog or kids."

That sentiment is shared by others who did not want to speak on the record to KGW. Then there are some who have no problem with street racing and street takeovers.

"I think they [police] should focus their energy elsewhere," neighbor Chris Delauder said.

Delauder will not be seeing that in Portland, at least not anymore. A city ordinance passed over the summer now allows the Portland Police Bureau to go after street racers. The ordinance means street racers can face a $500 fine, spend up to 30 days in jail and have their cars towed. 

According to Portland police, at least five people have died as a result of street racing since June 2020. Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell addressed that in a recent public service announcement.

RELATED: Portland City Council passes ordinance outlawing street racing with $500 fine, possible jail time

"Those who have participated in street racing must stop," Lovell said at the time. "It's dangerous and costly to our community. The time to respect each other is now."

Credit: Portland Police Bureau
Officers had seven vehicles towed

Over the weekend, officers chased participants of these illegal gatherings all over the city. 

"I think that's needed for sure," Keeney said.  "I don't think it's safe to be street racing in a city so I'd love it to stop all together."