WATCH | Weekend street takeovers cause chaos in half a dozen Connecticut communities (Fox 61)

December 11, 2023

Story from Fox 61:

Law enforcement across Connecticut are coordinating their efforts to identify and arrest people who took part in a massive multi-town street takeover. The takeover not only snarled traffic, but trapped shoppers in stores.


Shopping plazas and parking lots were invaded by hundreds of people and as many as 1,500 vehicles across half a dozen communities this weekend. “It was a lot for us to handle by ourselves,” stated Officer Brianna MacDonald of the Milford Police Department.


In addition to Milford, this past weekend street takeovers were reported in East Haven, West Haven, Derby, Orange and Shelton. In Shelton, police knew they were coming. “We were waiting at Research Drive when they arrived. We blocked all the parking lots so they subsequently audibled and went to other parking lots in town and we would just follow them to each parking lot and break them up before they could assemble into a group,” said Detective Richard Bango.


Milford Police released dash camera video that shows the faces of just some of the people police are looking to arrest. Their takeover occurred on Bridgeport Avenue on Saturday. Video shows some of the participants, mainly juveniles, kicking a police cruiser and jumping on the hood. “We are working hard to identify the people who were involved in this street takeover. We do know that they hit a couple of other towns,” said MacDonald.


Police said when they ordered the group to disperse, some of the participants hurled fireworks back at them. “They are happening constantly,” remarked State Sen. Paul Cicarella, who represents East Haven, one of the communities that was overtaken. He said the street takeovers are a product of soft on crime policy. “If we do not have accountability and consequences for someone’s actions there is lawlessness and we cannot operate in a society of lawlessness,” said Sen. Cicarella. “Whether it’s being stuck in a parking lot for half an hour or it’s getting their car stolen out of a parking lot we’ve got to realize there’s victims of these bad policies that we have.”


West Haven Police have said they arrested 4 adults and 2 juveniles and that more arrests are coming.


Police said the street takeover can be dangerous not only because participants do donuts, but because it stops emergency vehicles from responding to calls. “Were trying to get ahead of it,” said Detective Bango. And that means closely monitoring social media, where these takeovers are carefully coordinated. “Most of it was planned on social media platforms,” added Officer MacDonald.


Some of the vehicles involved in the takeover came from as far away as Vermont, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. And because this is a multi-state event, local police rely on close coordination with state and federal officials.