JACKSONVILLE, FL – The 904 Banditz have struck again, leaving their signature tracks in the stressed and faded blacktop of an unidentified parking lot somewhere in Duval County, Florida. Long after the smoke has swirled into the night sky and the “bad kids” have gone home, News4 JAX’s I-TEAM rolls up to investigate.
The scene has all the indications of another meeting of the 904 Banditz, a car club getting locally infamous for its drifting moves and screeching, smoking doughnuts on city streets and in empty parking lots.
Scott Johnson, a reporter and weekend anchor at the independent TV station owned by Graham Media Group, has been tailing the car enthusiasts in an investigation of the damage that “street takeovers” cause to private and public property.
Not to mention, the potential for a tragedy similar to one recently in New York City. Christopher Brito was videoing a car doing doughnuts when he tripped and fell in front of it and the car ran him over.
Brito, 23, suffered a fractured skull, brain injury and severe trauma to his body. Tyler Greer, 22, of the Bronx surrendered to police on March 23 to face charges of felony assault, leaving the scene of an accident with injury, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.
In the car club’s latest video posted to Instagram, it’s an ambulance doing the decidedly unprofessional moves, to Busta Rhymes’ “Call the Ambulance.” Johnson explains to viewers:
“My first call when looking into this video was to the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, which assured me this was not one of its units and likely not owned by any rescue agency because all the decals were taken off the ambulance.”
The ambulance was likely bought at auction and certainly has no patients rolling around in the back but it does make for an entertaining visual.
Johnson said in his April 5 report:
“I reached out to The 904 Banditz about the video. The group has been pointed to by critics since this issue of car clubs taking over parking lots really started to become public late last year, and for the first time, we’re hearing from the car group. It sent me this statement which reads in part: ‘Would you rather people as you guys put it ‘destroy’ parking lots [or] rather kids get into gangs drugs and all????’
“The statement goes on to say, “We have something good going for Duval cause the [NFL’s Jacksonville] Jaguars aren’t it? So why not throw a city held meet where they barricade a area off for the ‘bad kids that like to have fun.’ ”
The I-TEAM has looked into complaints from around the county about the meet-ups, with some residents saying the activities are loud and dangerous and are causing thousands of dollars in damage to a strip-mall parking lot off Parental Home Road. Some of the Instagram videos show drivers doing doughnuts in downtown Jacksonville and on interstate entrance lanes.
View this post on Instagram
In January, club member Lukas Lopez spoke with Corley Peel, another I-TEAM reporter and weekend anchor. Lopez said:
“We’re just all genuinely getting together to have a good time.
He said anywhere from 300 people to several thousand show up to watch the 904 Banditz, named for the Jacksonville area code, as they spin around the blacktop. Lopez insisted the group follows safety procedures. He said:
“It’s not that we disregard safety. Everyone knows the rules whenever they come out and we try not to disrespect the police or anything like that.”
The fun could be coming to a screeching halt as the state steps in. A Florida senate committee recently approved a bill to make it a first-degree misdemeanor to participate in a street takeover, street racing, or stunt driving — the burnouts and doughnuts — as a driver, passenger or spectator who deliberately attends an event.
If the bill passes, violators could face fines between $500 and $1,000.
Lopez said the 904 Banditz and other clubs are now looking for a place where their meet-ups won’t disrupt the community and open participants up to legal liability. Lopez noted:
“There are cities like up in Atlanta, Detroit, even Orlando, that has their own racetrack-burnout pit where it is safe for the people, it is legal for the city.”
Texas police officer killed by alleged drunk driver while conducting traffic stop over street racing
February 1, 2020
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – A police officer from The Corpus Christi Police Department was killed by another vehicle while engaged in a traffic stop on Friday night.
While details on the slain officer were scarce initially, department officials held a press conference on Saturday afternoon to reveal more insight into the officer’s death and the suspect in custody.
Public Information Lt. Michael Pena identified Officer Alan McCollum as the fallen officer from last night’s traffic stop.
Officer Alan McCollum, who had joined the department back in 2017, was struck by an alleged drunk driver’s vehicle while tending to a suspect pulled over for racing.
Honoring Corpus Christi, Texas, Police Department Officer Alan McCollum, died January 31, 2020, after being struck by a vehicle while conducting a traffic stop. Honor him so he is not forgotten. pic.twitter.com/oq60DYJGrb
— Steve Wightman (@stevewightman1) February 1, 2020
Lt. Pena noted that Officer McCollum was one of three officers present at the traffic stop on State Hwy. 358 that night.
We send our thoughts and prayers to the Corpus Christi Officers families, The Police Department and the Community who lost a Brother in Blue. Two officers were struck while on a traffic stop, one of them losing his life, the second injured officer is in the hospital. pic.twitter.com/6o84OU10J3
— TYLER POLICE (@TYLERPOLICEDEPT) February 1, 2020
One of those officers present was identified as Officer Michael Love, who was also injured in the incident. Officer Love has been listed as being in stable condition at a local hospital.
Corpus Christi police have identified the officer who was injured last night in the incident that killed Officer Alan McCollum as Officer Michael Love. Officer Love remains hospitalized. Love has been a police officer with the Corpus Christi Police Department since July 2017. pic.twitter.com/Zb708PVFfG
— 1200 WOAI (@1200WOAI) February 1, 2020
Chief of Police Mike Markle revealed the name of the suspect in custody during the press conference on Saturday:
Corpus Christi Police Chief Mike Markle pauses before speaking at a press conference about the death of officer Alan McCollum. McCollum was killed in the line of duty during a Friday night traffic stop. @callerdotcom pic.twitter.com/LPdMQptmZ5
— Annie Rice (@annierice_photo) February 1, 2020
“A vehicle driven by 26-year-old Brandon Portillo struck the marked vehicles that were engaged in the traffic stop, striking Officer Micheal Love and Officer Allen McCollum.”
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