Two people were arrested after officers responded to a street racing scene in northeast Portland, leading to a chase and other drivers trying to interfere with the police pursuit, according to investigators.
An officer responded to the 5400 block of Northeast 148th Avenue at 10:45 p.m. Sunday to find 50 people in the area, including some who were street racing.
As the officer approached the group in a marked patrol vehicle, the driver of a Ford Ranger truck drove toward the officer’s car, according to investigators.
Police said the officer believed the truck was going to hit his car, so he turned away from the pickup’s path of travel to avoid a collision.
The officer then requested additional officers respond to the scene.
The initial officer chased the pickup, but investigators said multiple other drivers associated with the street racing “interfered” and moved their vehicles into the officer’s path.
A PIT maneuver was used by officers to stop the truck. A Saturn sedan was also stopped by police for interfering with the pursuit.
The driver of the pickup, Jovani I. Villalobos, 21, was arrested on charges of attempt to elude, reckless endangering and a probation violation warrant for a previous conviction of illegally manufacturing marijuana.
The driver of the Saturn, Audrey L. Parrish, was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail on the charge of reckless driving.
“The Portland Police Bureau would like the community to know that street racing can be very dangerous and is also illegal. Drivers participating in racing or assisting by blocking traffic on the roadway can be arrested and charged with a variety of crimes,” according to a police statement.
Officers encourage drivers who want to race to seek out safer and legal alternatives, including opportunities at Portland International Raceway.
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