Fast and Furious: Illegal street racing in Shreveport
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Street racing on the streets most know well, and according to some racers we spoke with, it goes on more than some might ever know.
The races look and feel like a scene straight out of the "Fast and the Furious" movies. Engines and emotions revving, drivers ready to race.
But this is not Hollywood, it is in Shreveport, Louisiana. On any given night, it could be happening in the ArkLaTex, on a street near you.
"On a normal racing night, I'll go to 140, but 160-166 is the fastest I've gone," said one racer.
We spoke to one man who for obvious reasons does not want his identity revealed, we will refer to him as "Josh." He told KSLA News 12 he races in Shreveport, sometimes two or three times a week.
"They probably don't know how much it does go on. And it probably would shock a lot of people and stir a lot of people up if it was known. But we try to keep it as low key as possible," said Josh.
Josh said he and his group organize the races through special private social media pages where they communicate with each other when and where to race. He says that is also the way they keep from getting in trouble with the law.
"As far as not getting caught goes, usually it's one way in, one way out type of deal. You'll either have a guy sitting there or just go down there," explained Josh.
We asked Shreveport police if they are on the lookout for people racing.
"No we don't directly patrol for drag racing," said Corporal Breck Scott with the Shreveport Police Department.
Cpl. Scott was a patrol officer for more than 7 years. He says while officers do not go out and try and find racers, if someone calls in a complaint about speeding or racing, they will go out to the area and try to catch them in the act.
On the night KSLA News 12 was waiting to film one of the races, we saw at least two patrol officers along the stretch of Clyde Fant.
"We get calls down on Clyde Fant by the Frisbee golf course about people getting out there and drag racing. They'll call an officer down there and clear that park out, because at dark the park's supposed to be closed. So the officers will go down there and run everybody off and see if we can find the vehicles that are speeding," said Cpl. Scott.
Josh admitted he knows the racing he does is illegal.
"It's really just the adrenaline rush for me," said Josh. "I've always loved cars, and going fast. That's my deal."
That is why the racers take precautions.
"There's several guys that I race with that have gotten caught. But there have been several close calls, but as far as me getting caught - no," said Josh.
According to Shreveport police, they do not keep statistics on street racing. But, we were told officers wrote 20 tickets in 2015, and the price that goes along with those tickets, is steep.
"They're not going to want to do that again, cause they're not going to want to pay that again. That's a $2- or $300 plus court costs, so that's around a $500 ticket," said Cpl. Scott.
We asked Josh if the guys who had been caught racing were still on the streets racing. He laughed, and said, "oh yeah, yeah, they're still there."
Josh said they race within the city limits about two times a week. On a typical night, there could be anywhere from 10-15 cars out racing. They even have their own lingo.
Josh explained what the racers call a "dig," "It's like a real race. Two cars that go out there, they stop, somebody will flag it off and they'll just go a 1/4 mile."
KSLA News 12 asked Josh about the racing they do on Clyde Fant. At first, he was apprehensive about talking about where they raced, but once we told him we knew, and police were aware of the racing they do there, he opened up a bit more.
"If i get a phone call I go. it's almost like going into work, I'm going to show up," said 'Josh.'
He says they race starting at about 9:00 p.m., and it can go until 2:00 a.m. Josh insists they keep it safe for others.
"We make sure there's no cars on the road with us, but whenever you're on the road already and that happens, one car will keep going past that car, the other one will just pass it. But with us that's not really a factor, we're the only ones on the street when we do it," said Josh.
It is the thrill of the win they will keep chasing.
"I kind of know the different areas in Shreveport where our complaints were in drag racing, and our traffic officers know that, so that's where they'll go over there time to time just to check those areas out," said Cpl. Scott.
"They'll never see it. They're wasting their time going out looking for that. They're wasting their time," said Josh.
Josh said he has never seen anyone get hurt while racing on these streets.
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