Twin Cities street racers kicked off their “season opener” last Friday and Saturday in the Twin Cities with hundreds of vehicles engaging in street takeovers and burnout activity that elicited large police responses in some cities in the metro.
Street racing, also known as “takeovers” or “sideshows,” has swept across the country in the last few years and has emerged heavily in the Twin Cities in the last two years.
The large gatherings, often with hundreds of cars and spectators taking over city streets, have caused mayhem, property damage, and neighborhood disruption. They’ve also resulted in injuries and death.
Last weekend, photojournalist Rebecca Brannon tracked the street racers, during what they promoted as their “season opener,” across the cities in north Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, Dinkytown, downtown Minneapolis, St. Paul, Eagan, and St. Paul Park. Brannon called the activity “sheer chaos” as she witnessed hundreds of cars speeding and driving wildly through the cities and even shouting down police in Dinkytown at one point.
The activity, often referred to as “hotrodders” over police scanners, continued Saturday night and into early Sunday morning. After 1 a.m. Sunday, police dispatch audio indicated that a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter was tracking a vehicle into Minneapolis from St. Paul.
Officers aired over dispatch that the driver of the Charger was wanted for fleeing and weapons.
When the vehicle got into the North Loop area of Minneapolis, the occupants bailed from the car and fled on foot near 10th Avenue North and 4th Street North. The driver was apprehended within a few minutes and was reportedly hiding in a dumpster, according to dispatch audio from the incident.
Devonte Isaiah Eaton, 24, of St. Paul Park was booked into Ramsey County Jail and charged with one felony count of fleeing police in a motor vehicle.
The criminal complaint states that an investigator working on behalf of the Ramsey County Carjacking and Auto Theft Unit was working a street racing detail throughout the metro area with other law enforcement agencies when he saw a 2020 orange Dodge Charger, known to be registered to Eaton based on the license plate information. Eaton’s driver’s license is currently revoked, according to the complaint
The complaint states that Eaton is known to law enforcement as a street racer belonging to a group identified as “King of The Lots,” or KOTL, and that Eaton has a history of fleeing from police and has been known to carry firearms.
The investigator activated his police lights in an attempt to pull over Eaton’s vehicle near the 1800 block of Suburban Avenue in St. Paul. The Charger was slow to stop but eventually pulled over on Suburban Avenue.
As the investigator exited his squad, the driver of the Charger revved the engine and took off at a high rate of speed. The investigator pursued for a short time but terminated pursuit when the State Patrol helicopter took over. The Charger ran several red lights and fled at speeds of over 100 miles per hour, the complaint states.
Eaton, known as “Tae Buckks” on YouTube and Instagram, has two other open cases, both charged last August. One is in Ramsey County on gross misdemeanor charges of carrying a pistol without a permit and receiving stolen property, and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing the legal process. Eaton has a scheduled hearing next week on that case.
In Hennepin County, Eaton is charged with felony first-degree damage to property stemming from a street-racer incident last July. Charges say Eaton and his vehicle were identified at a gathering in north Minneapolis through the use of the city’s Milestone cameras. Eaton was observed in the Charger “drifting” in the intersection on multiple occasions over the course of nearly an hour. The Minneapolis Street Department estimated damages to the roadway from the activity at $9,670.
When Eaton was later questioned by law enforcement, he admitted to the activity and identified himself and his vehicle in photographs from the time of the incident. Eaton is scheduled to face a jury trial in May on the charge.
Eaton made his initial court appearance on the new fleeing charge on Tuesday and was granted a public defender. Court records indicate that Eaton was ordered conditionally released on zero bail by Judge Janet N. Poston. Eaton has been released from custody and is scheduled to make his next court appearance on the charge on May 17.
A source told Alpha News this week that even bigger street racer events are planned for this weekend in the Twin Cities with the possibility of racers coming from Chicago.
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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.