MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police arrested three men after dozens of reports of reckless driving and street racing that took place at “car shows” across the city this past weekend.
MPD says between 2 and 10 p.m. Saturday, they received 47 calls regarding vehicle disturbances across the city. The following arrests were related to the calls received:
A little after 2 p.m., an officer was in the 2700 block of Third Street when he saw a gray four-door Infiniti. The car had an unsecured rear bumper hanging from it, police say.
As the officer passed the car, he saw and heard the driver fire a weapon numerous times. Additional officers made the scene, and the driver and passenger were taken into custody.
According to reports, the driver, London Wright, had a pistol in his pants at the time of his arrest. Officers searched the vehicle and found a backpack with a gun, marijuana, a drug scale and baggies.
Wright was charged with Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, Possession of a Prohibited Weapon, Resisting Official Detention, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Manufacture/Deliver/Sell, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2X).
His bond was set at $5,000. MPD says he is out on bail.
Joshua Pope was charged with Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Manufacture/Deliver/Sell, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (2X).
His bail was set at $4,000, and he has been released on bond, records show.
In a separate incident according to reports, at around 4 p.m., officers received information that a vehicle with a stolen tag was in the area of Third and Belz. Officers found the vehicle at a local Shell Station.
The driver of the car, Ricky Myers, was taken into custody. Officers say they found marijuana in the driver’s seat. Inside the vehicle, they found marijuana, a gun, scales, multiple types of pills, cash and baggies.
Ricky Myers was charged with Convicted Felon in Possession of a Handgun, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Dangerous Felony, Theft of Property $1,000 or less, Possession of Marijuana with the Intent to Manufacture/Deliver/Sell, Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Intent to Manufacture/Deliver/Sell (2X), Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
His bond was set at $40,000, and he is out on bond, according to MPD.
The traffic division of the Memphis Police Department is also investigating several crashes resulting from reckless driving, they say. One of the incidents occurred on Third Street, and two pedestrians were struck. One of the victims captured the moment an out-of-control car slammed into her.
Memphis Police released the following statement to WREG: “Reckless driving and drag racing is not a new problem. We have been working to address the issue for several years, and new practices have been implemented. Recently, the Memphis Police Department reactivated the Special Traffic Enforcement Division (STEU) as a proactive effort to improve safety on our roadways. STEU was reactivated to provide full-time enforcement to interstate and street-level traffic enforcement. STEU is a unit that has citywide jurisdiction and is deployed according to traffic enforcement needs. They enforce motor vehicle laws, including drag racing and reckless driving.”
At least one city councilman is calling for stiffer penalties at the state level.
“They’re weaponizing vehicles is what they’re doing and just like we would take your firearm you used in a crime, we’re going to take your vehicle if you’re going to terrorize our streets with it and put people’s lives in danger. We have lost some innocent lives from this and we will continue to lose more if this behavior keeps up,” said Councilman Ford Canale.
Tennessee State Representative Antonio Parkinson agrees something needs to be done but says he’s not for civil asset forfeiture.
“If someone is caught you know reckless driving, I think they can, you know immediately be arrested and taken downtown. But you know they need that due process, they need that day in court,” he said.
Parkinson urges people to find places where this outlet is acceptable and where it can be done safely and not endanger people.
“Do it in a manner in where it doesn’t impede people living their every day life also,” he said.
Memphis Police say they’re reviewing the video of the woman hit in South Memphis as that person has not yet been held accountable. If you know anything, call CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.