By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN — Drivers drag racing and doing burnouts on police station grounds resulted in numerous arrests and car impoundments following a June 2 graduation ceremony at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center.
About 1:05 p.m., in the parking lot east of the Dearborn Police Department, 16099 Michigan Ave., the sound of revving engines and multiple vehicles doing burnouts caught the attention of police officers, including Police Chief Issa Shahin, who looked out their windows to see a gray Dodge Challenger, a white Dodge Charger and a dark purple Chrysler 300 being driven recklessly.
A passenger in the Charger was hanging out the passenger window, using a cell phone camera to record footage of the Challenger directly behind. Both of the Dodge cars were doing burnouts – spinning a vehicle’s wheels while keeping the car stationary, with the resultant friction causing the tires to heat up and create a cloud of smoke – in the parking lot approaching Cain Street.
The resultant burnout left significant rubber marks on the road surface, which was visible when the Charger and the Challenger left the parking lot and entered eastbound Michigan Avenue, driving off at a high rate of speed.
Following the Dodge vehicles was the Chrysler 300, which blew through the stop sign at Hinkel and Michigan Avenue before accelerating east on Michigan Avenue at a high rate of speed, then exiting to northbound Greenfield.
The license plates of all three vehicles were captured with surveillance cameras, and the license plates and vehicle descriptions were promptly relayed to patrol vehicles in the field.
The Challenger and Charger were both subject to traffic stops at Michigan Avenue near Maple Street, near the former city hall.
The driver of the Challenger, who was asked to step out of the vehicle, admitted to driving recklessly, and said he had just left his high school graduation ceremony, and was imitating his friends’ burnout maneuvers. He was advised that his actions were witnessed by several command officers, including the police chief.
The Challenger driver was charged with miscellaneous damage of property and drag racing, and was handcuffed and secured in the back of a patrol car, while the car was impounded and towed.
The driver, who was a minor, was turned over to the booking officer, then held in a juvenile holding room until his father arrived to assume custody.
The Charger also was stopped on Michigan Avenue near Maple, with the driver and three passengers inside. The driver was told to exit the vehicle and surrender the keys.
The Charger driver also was charged with miscellaneous damage of property and drag racing. A check of the Law Enforcement Information Network revealed other actionable information unrelated to the current situation.
The Charger was impounded and towed, and its driver was taken into custody, booked and held until he posted cash bond.
One of the passengers refused to exit the vehicle, and was eventually physically removed from the car. He continued to be uncooperative and verbally abusive, so he was arrested for failure to obey and placed in the rear of a patrol vehicle.
He was taken to the police station, where he was booked and held until he posted the cash bond.
The driver of the Chrysler 300 exited the parking lot onto eastbound Michigan Avenue, then cut off another vehicle to merge onto the exit ramp to Greenfield Road. The vehicle was equipped with a loud after-market exhaust package, and continued to rev its engine while waiting at the light to turn north on Greenfield Road.
An unmarked police vehicle then maintained surveillance as the Chrysler 300 driver swerved in and out of lanes without signaling, until a marked police vehicle arrived to conduct a traffic stop at Greenfield Road and Warren Avenue.
The vehicle’s license plate was seized, and the vehicle was impounded and towed. The driver was arrested for drag racing, and taken to the police station for booking, where he was held until he posted cash bond.
The cell phones of vehicle occupants were confiscated. The drivers and passengers provided their cell phone PINs, which were verified before the phones were put into airplane mode and taken as evidence, until such time as the police detective bureau could review the cell phone video footage of the burnouts and drag-racing.
Police Cmdr. Madou Bazzi said Oakland International Academy, a public charter high school in Hamtramck, held its graduation ceremony at the Ford COMPAC prior to the incident.