Multiple arrests made in ongoing investigation into Austin 'street takeover'

Seven arrests have been made in connection to last weekend's "street takeover" that took place across Austin.

APD Chief Joseph Chacon addressed the public and media on Tuesday afternoon.

"I felt that we needed to have additional information to be able to provide prior to having this press conference," said Chief Chacon. "That is why it has taken until today."

The investigation involved multiple law enforcement departments including the Travis County Sheriff's Office, Texas Department of Public Safety, New Braunfels PD, San Marcos PD, the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, San Antonio PD, the Hays County Sheriff's Department, Live Oak PD, Selma PD, and Dallas PD.

The first 911 call came in at about 9 p.m. from the intersection of South Lamar Blvd. and Barton Springs Rd. Witness videos show a chaotic scene - cars doing donuts, fireworks going off and some people catching on fire. 41 APD patrol units responded to that initial incident.

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"The car clubs continued to travel to several other areas of the city, and it appears that they finally stopped their activity at just before 4 a.m.," said Chief Chacon.

Multiple 911 calls came in throughout the night with the longest wait time being 27 minutes, according to Chief Chacon.

That Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., 266 calls were fielded by 12 staff members at the call center. The previous Saturday, during the same time window, 65 calls were fielded by 16 staff members.

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"This is obviously unacceptable," said Chief Chacon. "We have been working on the call center issue for quite some time. We've made strides and are getting more applicants than at any time in recent history, but it takes time to hire them and to train them," said Chief Chacon. "I even have sworn staff that is in the 911 call center taking 911 calls right now instead of being out on the street."

As of Tuesday, one person has been arrested by DPS and six people have been arrested by APD in connection to the weekend event. They are facing charges that include evading arrest, drug possession and unlawful carrying of weapons.

"My strong message to those individuals who want to do this, don't do it," said Chief Chacon, who noted they are confident heading into the spring season despite dealing with staffing shortages.

"We are fully staffed from a security perspective for Spring Festival and South by Southwest," said Chief Chacon. "And we will have teams deployed should this type of activity occur."

On Sunday, APD conducted tactical operational readiness drills to ensure officers are able to respond efficiently if any similar events happen in the future.

Chief Chacon said APD received one tip from the San Antonio Police Department prior to Saturday, but no time or location was given.