The Atlanta Police Department has released helicopter surveillance video of street racers gathering – and the arrest of one of them – in the parking lot of the Howell Mill Square shopping center
The video shows “a small glimpse of some of the activity our officers have to deal with,” APD Public Affairs Officer Sgt. John Chafee said in a March 1 press release.
According to APD, the video was shot around 2 a.m. on Feb. 21 as the air unit watched alleged street racers in the I-75 corridor through Northwest Atlanta and Buckhead, which has become notorious for racing and stunt driving. The video shows around 40 vehicles driving aimlessly through the Howell Mill square shopping center at 1715 Howell Mill Road.
Toward the end of the clip, one car is seen doing doughnuts in the parking lot, leaving skid marks. The video then shows an officer approaching the car, pulling the driver out, and handcuffing him. APD identified the driver as Jalen Cruz, 22, and said he was charged with reckless driving and laying drag.
“While most of these car enthusiasts appear to be driving safely, we are well aware how quickly these situation[s] can turn dangerous,” Chaffee said. Once one driver begins acting foolishly, trying to show off their vehicle, others soon follow.”
Chafee said that in the previous two weekends, APD’s street racing team made 25 arrests, issued 428 traffic citations and impounded 14 vehicles.
The release of the video comes as Atlanta Police grappled with a weekend of gun violence, which saw one man killed and a dozen more wounded.
Collin Kelley contributed to this report.