Officers Spend Two Nights Chasing Drag Racers

Officers Spend Two Nights Chasing Drag Racers

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- In two nights of chasing drag racers using northern Utah's back roads, Highway Patrol troopers and Ogden police handed out more than 90 citations.

UHP Sgt. Brad Horne said the efforts Friday and Saturday nights also resulted in five arrests, with three suspects charged with felonies for allegedly racing and evading capture.

One driver was arrested after a chase that hit 110 miles per hour.

Another was arrested after crashing his car in which his pregnant wife was a passenger.

Some of the drag racing was in the northeast corner of Business Depot Ogden, half a block from the UHP headquarters for Weber County.

Horne said his officers have been getting complaints from BDO businesses about drag racing on the roads of the depot at night. Those roads are invitingly straight, long and empty, he said, with handy escape routes should the police show up.

About midnight Friday, a trooper patrolling the road at the east end of the depot saw about 20 cars there, either parked or racing.

"He went over to stop it," Horne said. "He pulled into it and got out of his vehicle, and they all ran to their cars and took off."

Officers were able to catch only three of the cars involved in that night's racing, Horne said.

The whole thing showed police there was a serious problem, Horne said.

He and Ogden police had been talking about a crackdown anyway, so Saturday night they dedicated almost the whole shift from both departments to it. From 10 p.m. to midnight, between six and eight Ogden officers and another five troopers conducted saturation patrolling.

"We focused on street racers and any type of moving violation," he said. They handed out 58 citations and made three arrests, mostly for alcohol.

That ended at 12:10 a.m. Sunday, he said, "and then at 12:30 one of the troopers saw them again, right here at BDO."

This time, the lone trooper stayed back and called for backup.

Horne sealed off the roads out of the business depot, "and we were able to successfully apprehend 16 cars, along with the two that were actually racing."

Another 31 citations were issued to race observers. Troopers arrested one person on an outstanding warrant and arrested the two drag racers, making a grand total for the night of 91 citations and three people arrested.

"That is all in a three-hour period of time," he said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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