DALLAS - Street racers caused chaos in parts of Dallas on Halloween night, terrifying people in surrounding neighborhoods.
Residents say they are tired of being harassed but feel increasingly helpless in dealing with the problem.
Dangerous stunts at the intersection of Skillman and Live Oak Streets in East Dallas were caught on camera.
Katie who lives nearby, did not want her face shown for fear of retaliation. She called 911 but says it took officers about 40 minutes to arrive.
“It’s terrifying. I'm blocked in my house, there are teenagers yelling screaming,” she said. “Most recent incident there was gunfire.
She says hundreds of teens gathered to watch, blocking traffic and emergency vehicles. It’s become a familiar scene in that area. A similar incident happened several weekends ago at the nearby intersection of Ross and Greenville Avenues.
“I've been told by police leadership that on a given night we could have as many as 1,500 or 2,000 in the city. That's a lot of racers and a lot of area to cover,” said District 14 councilman David Blewett.
The councilman said he’s hearing from a lot of unhappy residents.
In May, city council passed an ordinance giving police the ability to cite business owners where street racers repeatedly set up in parking lots, cite spectators as well as drivers and seize vehicles.
As of October 21, DPD says it has issued hundreds of citations for spectators and drivers and made hundreds of arrests. But zero business have been cited and while cars have been impounded, none have been seized.
“It’s not as easy as you think to just seize a car. My understanding is you have to convict them to be able to have the seizure, so there's a criminal court process beyond just police doing it,” Blewett said.
Blewett says the pandemic has slowed down the courts.
Penny, who also did not want her face shown, says East Dallas residents are brainstorming their own solutions.
“Let’s utilize the towing companies so if they're parked your space, tow their cars,” she said.
Penny applauds police Saturday for dispersing the crowd. But Blewett says the problem just moves somewhere else.
The question is where to go from here — when it’s clear most measures aren't working
“I think we are going to have to give them other outlets, make the pain threshold much higher. I don’t think we have the right tool yet,” Blewett said.