2 drivers 2 passengers charged with street racing

Sharif Bouharjarah says he's been hearing a lot of loud noises in the wee hours of the morning as illegal street racers make South Orange Avenue at Town Center Boulevard into their own race track.  

"Turn on any fast and the furious move and you'll hear it. Loud mufflers, screeching tires," said Bougharjarah.  "Pretty late at night all through the night you'll hear street racing going on. It's definitely a concern to us."

Around 4 a.m. Sunday, Orange County sheriff's deputies arrested four young men for participating in an unlawful race, two drivers and two passengers.  Deputies say that makes 15 street racing arrests for them since last May.

FHP is cracking down too.  Just one week earlier, troopers say a BMW was going over 90 miles per hour racing another car down Lake Nona Boulevard.  The troopers dashboard camera video shows the suspect crying hysterically as he is handcuffed and hauled off to jail. 

Statewide, FHP  made 785 street racing arrests in 2016 and that 78 of those arrests were in Orange County. 

"The officers that work midnight shift routinely communicate with each other, they know where these problems areas are. They try and do what they can to enforce it," said FHP spokesperson Sgt. Kim Montes. 

But Montes says catching the illegal racers is a challenge.

"These groups are getting more organized. They use walkee-talkees to communicate. They have lookouts for police and they move around."

Sgt. Montes has a warning for the racers. 

"You never know whether it's a marked police car or an unmarked police car who's out there watching and it just may be your day to be arrested,"