Nine arrested after street racing event in Tampa Bass Pro Shops parking lot

Nine drivers hit a major speed bump with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after deputies announced their arrest Thursday in connection with a street racing event.

Deputies said they found out when the street races would take place via social media, so they went undercover to see what was happening the night of Jan. 9 at a Bass Pro Shops parking lot on Palm River Road in Tampa.

“We had heard of an upcoming event, so we sent undercover deputies to this area and they were able to observe this large crowd gathering exactly as you see in the video,” said Amanda Granit, gatekeeper. Hillsborough county floor. Sheriff’s office.

HCSO released a video taken at the event, and they said it shows part of a street racing event. At one point in the video, a car appears to lose control and drive towards part of the crowd, but no one was injured.

“It’s dangerous for every person standing there. It only takes one wrong move for this car to spiral out of control and hit a lot of people who are just standing there with their cell phones recording it thinking that ‘they’re having a good time,’ Granit said.

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The sheriff’s office said watching wouldn’t get you in trouble, but driving would. The undercover deputies had seen enough at one point, and the sheriff’s office broke.

“Everyone kind of scattered, but our air force was able to keep up with some of the pilots who were doing these donuts and tricks and stuff like that,” Granit said.

Deputies said they arrested nine men aged between 18 and 26, and all are charged with reckless driving. Part of the bigger picture is cracking down on aggressive driving in general, so law enforcement plans to keep an eye out.

“It’s a world we live in where everything is put on social media. People invite themselves to go to these events on social media. Well, our MPs can see it too, and we will be there” , said Granit.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said more arrests were possible following the street racing event earlier this month.
MPs said they wanted anyone to call and report aggressive drivers when they see them, so they can check it out.

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