They’ve caused thousands of dollars in damage, created more than a nuisance in neighborhoods across the Twin Cities, and their gatherings have been the scene of murders, shootings, and serious injuries in the last two years.
Finally, cases are being charged and warrants are being issued for several street racers in the metro area. A handful have been arrested, but most have already been released from custody.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MNDPS) said in a recent press release that eight people have been arrested related to dangerous street racing and other criminal activities in the Twin Cities. MNDPS said those arrested have played key roles in planning, promoting and participating in illegal street racing activities.
Other videos have captured police in areas like Dinkytown, near the University of Minnesota campus, being harassed by crowds and unable to control the racers.
Last year, a young adult woman and a teen boy were shot dead within the same hour at two different street racer gatherings in Minneapolis on June 5, 2021. Nicholas Enger, 17, was shot and killed at a gathering near East Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue, and Vanessa Jensen, 20, was shot and killed at a gathering near North 22nd Avenue and North 2nd Street. Both were apparently struck by errant gunfire in each case. No suspects have been arrested in either homicide.
In June, Alpha News got an exclusive look behind the scenes of law enforcement’s attempt to wrangle the reckless drivers.
MNDPS provided a list of eight suspects arrested and charged so far. Charges range from first-degree damage to property to second-degree riot:
Malik Odessa Gillette, 24, first-degree criminal damage
Desmond Lee Walker Jr., 23, riot second-degree, first-degree criminal damage
Isaac Abram Hernandez Quezada, 20, riot second-degree
Brian Yair Solis Arteaga, 19, first-degree criminal damage
Isac David Romero, 21, first-degree criminal damage
Codey James Poolo, 18, first-degree criminal damage
Ayoob Dawood Abdus Salam, 24, riot second-degree
Elija Marcell Grove-Thomas, 24, riot second-degree
Malik Odessa Gillette, DOB: 1/30/1998
226xx Waconia Circle NE, East Bethel
WANTED ON WARRANT
-Felony 1st degree criminal damage to property
-Misd reckless driving pic.twitter.com/us52vtboNa
— CrimeWatchMpls (@CrimeWatchMpls) July 23, 2022
Most of the arrested parties have already been released from custody.
“This dangerous and disruptive activity, which has left people injured and killed, put neighborhood safety in jeopardy, and caused thousands of dollars in property damage,” MNDPS said.
MNDPS said law enforcement from several agencies, including the Minneapolis Police Department, the Fridley Police Department, the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and Minnesota State Patrol have worked over the past several months to investigate the street racer activity.
Following months of investigation, they said, the Hennepin and Anoka County attorneys charged nine individuals for various felony violations. Over a three-day period from July 22-24, seven of the nine people were taken into custody. An eighth person turned himself in Tuesday, Aug. 2. One was still at large as of the Aug. 3 press release.
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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.