Suffolk County police cracked down on illegal street racing over the weekend, issuing more than 100 summonses and arresting one man.
About 200 vehicles and 300 people converged at points in Commack and Islandia late Friday and early Saturday, coordinating drag races through social media posts, according to police.
“What we have is about 200 vehicles meet up in this place and then they just drive around recklessly and then [they] just go to different locations throughout the county and it's a major quality of life issue,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison told Newsday on Sunday.
The racers met at three or four locations in the county Friday and Saturday, he said.
“Some of the places they go are public places and this is causing a nuisance to community residents that are driving during that time frame," Harrison said, "and putting those people at risk and putting themselves at risk.”
Harrison said that police intelligence officers monitor social media posts to see where officers should be sent to enforce traffic laws.
Beginning Friday night around 11 p.m., Suffolk Fourth Precinct officers investigated multiple locations within the precinct where drag racing was known to occur, the department said.
Police said they discovered a large group of vehicles near 88 Veterans Memorial Highway in Commack and found group members engaged in reckless driving. The vehicles headed to Oval Drive in Islandia, a short horseshoe shaped street in a commercial and industrial area. Officers closed off access streets and set up checkpoints so that vehicles at Oval Drive were trapped.
About 20 officers participated in the enforcement, which included highway patrol, aviation officers and canine officers, Harrison said.
Over the course of at least two hours, vehicles leaving Oval Drive had to pass through checkpoints where officers issued 119 summonses for various vehicle violations. No drivers were caught speeding, Harrison said. Canine officers were used to track down drivers who had left their vehicles, he said. The operation ended at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.
Most of the drivers were between the ages of 18 and 24 and social media posts were made under the name “Global Suspects,” Harrison said.
One Patchogue man was charged with driving while ability impaired by drugs and resisting arrest.