TACOMA, Wash. - Tacoma Police have arrested an 18-year-old man they say is responsible for "numerous illegal street racing events" throughout King and Pierce Counties.
Tacoma PD, along with Kent police, arrested the suspect at a home in Puyallup on Friday.
He will first be sent to King County for charges related to incidents within their jurisdiction, according to Tacoma Police.
The investigation is ongoing, particularly for charging incidents that occurred in Pierce County.
In Tacoma, there was an 8.5% increase in 911 calls for street racing in 2021 in comparison to 2020, according to police numbers.
In the first two months of 2022, the numbers show there were 180 calls for street racing. Looking at the same time period of 2020 there were 84 calls. That is a 114% percent increase.
Earlier this week, the Tacoma City Council voted to crack down on street racing by going after people watching the illegal events.
The council unanimously passed a new law that makes spectators a target for arrest. People found guilty can face a month in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both.
Originally, the penalty was up to three months in jail, but the council modified the language of the new law.
Tacoma Police say so far this year there have been 28 street-racing related arrests in Pierce County.
FOX 13 News spoke to a 16-year-old involved in the car scene in Tacoma. He did not want to use his name or show his face.
"Although, taking over the streets might be illegal and stuff. We’re not there to harm, or terrorize or do anything like that. We're just there to have fun," he said.
He said he sees a lot of the violence in the city and feels the car scene is an outlet for people to stay away from getting into that kind of trouble.
"Most of the murders that happen are from people in my age group. Like, my peers are doing this, and, you know, it’s heartbreaking to see that," he said.
He says if there was a sanctioned space for this kind of activity, he believes there would be a lot less illegal car meet-ups on city streets.
"That would just be better than just trying to set examples out of us and take us away from what we love and what we enjoy," he said.
This is a developing story.
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