INDIANAPOLIS — It was another frustrating weekend for Indianapolis police and residents alike after more illegal street takeovers took over parts of the city.
During the most recent street takeover, not only were cars blocking traffic up and down Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, but even horses got involved.
“I have never seen anything like it,” said Carolyn, who lives near the area of the recent street takeover.
Carolyn has lived in the same house for 70 years and said what is going on in her neighborhood is unlike anything she has ever seen before.
“They are creating a nuisance,” she said. “It doesn’t make sense. I don’t understand what the excitement is. I don’t understand that.”
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officials said illegal street takeovers are now becoming more common on the city’s streets. Just this past weekend, police responded to at least two different incidents.
On Sunday, dozens of people lined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street stopping traffic and causing chaos for everyone around. IMPD officers said that the area is a hotspot for these takeovers and has recently resulted in the arrest of four people.
“Oftentimes people will say it’s not harming anyone but what we are hearing from people is that it is harming them,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley. “It’s disrupting them. It’s causing disruptions to their way of life. It’s causing concerns for their public safety.”
Just 24 hours earlier, IMPD and Indiana State Police teamed up to stop an illegal street takeover downtown.
In this incident, ISP arrested 10 people, recovered three stolen vehicles and confiscated two stolen handguns.
“A lot of times with these events comes more criminal activity than just blocking streets and spinning,” ISP Sgt. John Perrine said. “Oftentimes we find stolen vehicles, stolen guns, people that are wanted on warrants, and that’s exactly what happened on Saturday night.”
To help bring a stop to the increase in this illegal activity, both IMPD and state police are teaming up and combining their efforts to try and put a stop to it.
“When somebody blocks a street or an intersection, it’s beyond an inconvenience. It’s dangerous and it’s illegal,” Sgt. Perrine said. “We will continue to support our partners at IMPD with these operations until we don’t have this problem anymore.”
IMPD Lt. Foley said local police want to remind people engaging in this activity that they can expect both citations and arrests.
“[They could face charges for] reckless driving, obstructing traffic, disorderly conduct,” Foley said. “Or, if they are engaged in racing and those types of offenses, there can be additional charges for that as well.”
Foley said that the overall goal is safety, so that people like Carolyn can feel safe in their neighborhoods again.
“Life is too short,” Carolyn said. “Today is not promised and tomorrow surely isn’t promised. If you are from out of state, go back home and do it.”
Anyone with information on illegal street takeovers in Indy is being asked to call 911 immediately. Alternatively, people with information may call (317) 262-TIPS to report an anonymous tip to CrimeStoppers of Central Indiana.