Watch | String of street takeovers in Conn. leads to call for change (NBC CT)

December 12, 2023

Story from NBC Connecticut:


There are calls for more to be done to prevent so-called street takeovers. There was a string of them over the weekend in several communities.


And one in Milford left an officer hurt. Officers responded after about 150 cars gathered in the parking lot of a grocery store on Bridgeport Avenue on Saturday.


During this, authorities say people set off fireworks in the direction of a police cruiser, jumped on it and then punched and threw something at an officer.


The officer was hospitalized with minor injuries and later released.


And besides this case, there were takeover concerns over the weekend in Shelton and in North Haven, where 1,500 cars shut down Universal Drive, trapping shoppers in parking lots and causing backup on nearby Interstate 91.


“These, you know, really are bringing in people to observe them from all over the region,” said Kenneth Gray, University of New Haven criminal justice senior lecturer.

Gray says takeovers are a national trend that started out west. He said law enforcement is trying to get a handle on this emerging issue.


“The key is to try to get to this before it happens and stop it before the cars get parked and start, then it becomes impossible to stop once it’s underway,” Gray said.


During the last legislative session, a task force was created to help coordinate the response of different police departments.


Some lawmakers want to go further when it comes to potential punishments.


“They’re causing a major disruption to public safety and there’s no consequences. And they know, and that’s why they’re continuing to do it,” Sen. Paul Cicarella, R – North Haven, said.


We reached out to Senate Democrats for comment but have not yet heard back.


Lawmakers have already upped the charge someone could face from taking part in this type of wild driving from a misdemeanor to a felony.