Kent Police plan extra resources to combat illegal street racing

Police issue statement to remind racers, spectators of city laws prohibiting such events

Kent Police plan to bring in additional resources in an attempt to impact the recent increase in illegal street racing in the city.

Police released a statement May 25 to remind the illegal street racers and their spectators that it is a crime to participate in and attend illegal street races in the city of Kent. The statement didn’t detail what extra resources will be used or how the department plans to enforce the laws.

“While it’s common knowledge that it is a crime to participate in illegal street races, what many people don’t realize is that it is also a crime to gather and watch illegal street races,” according to the police statement.

City code makes attending an illegal street race a misdemeanor under unlawful race attendance.

“That means you will be seen at our City of Kent Municipal Court,” according to police. “If you’re found guilty, you will then be given a SOAR order, (Stay Out of Areas of Racing), which states you can be arrested or charged in the future for gathering in any location well known for racing in our city.”

That list (see below) is lengthy because illegal street racing has been going on for decades in many locations across Kent. The racing and gatherings pick up during nice weather late at night in the spring and summer.

Hundreds gathered and five men were shot and injured during an illegal street racing event May 21 at the intersection of South 180th Street and East Valley Highway. Police have not made any arrests for the shootings.

“Yes, it is a crime to watch the illegal races, and yes you will be charged if caught,” according to police. “But there are other very compelling reasons to avoid illegal street racing. Kent experienced those reasons this past weekend. Bystanders are hit by drifting vehicles, people in the crowd are armed, fights break out and weapons are brandished or used, injury accidents occur. Real spectators have been shot and run over.”

Police said bystanders are the most at risk and most vulnerable persons at an illegal street race. It’s not safe to just watch.

While current state laws make it difficult to physically arrest the participants in illegal street racing, Kent Police said they have a long history of developing cases, arresting and prosecuting illegal street racers, and race organizers.

Kent no racing zones

1. 54th Avenue South from South 228th Street to the end of the road at the 22500 block.

2. 58th Place South from Russell Road to South 194th Way.

3. 59th Place South from South 212th Street to South 199th Place.

4. 62nd Avenue South from South 199th Place to South 190th Street.

5. 64th Avenue South from James Street to South 212th Street.

6. 72nd Avenue South from 220th Street to South 180th Street.

7. 76th Avenue South (signage reads 76th Avenue) from South 228th Street (signage reads 228th St.) to South 212th Street.

8. 80th Avenue South from 196th Street to South 180th Street.

9. 85th Avenue South from South 202nd Street to South 198th Street.

10. 87th Avenue South from South 208th Street to South 198th Street.

11. 89th Avenue South (signage reads 89th) from the 20400 block to South 198th Street.

12. South 180th Street from 68th Avenue South (West Valley Highway) to 84th Avenue South (East Valley Highway).

13. South 190th Street from 62nd Avenue South to 68th Avenue South.

14. South 194th Street and 58th Place South from 66th Avenue South to Russell Road.

15. South 199th Place from 59th Place South to 68th Avenue South (West Valley Highway).

16. South 202nd Street from 84th Avenue South (East Valley Highway) to 89th Avenue South.

17. South 226th Street from 54th Avenue South to 64th Avenue South.

Source: City of Kent

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kentreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Man identified who died of medical emergency in Kent while driving car

King County Medical Examiner’s Office rules death of natural causes in 132nd Avenue SE crash

Man, 29, fatally shot on Metro bus in Kent identified

No charges filed against shooter who reportedly acted in self-defense

Aegis Living Kent earns Joint Commission memory care certification

Program designed to enhance the care of residents who suffer from memory-impacting conditions

New Puget Sound Fire engines to hit Kent streets | Photos

Kent will get four new vehicles for East Hill, city of SeaTac one

Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. FILE PHOTO
Discarded cigarette leads to arrest of Kent double homicide suspects

DNA reveals man, woman who reportedly killed two people in January 2023 at local motel

State Patrol chief thanks public for support of trooper shot in Kent

Trooper’s injuries are not life threatening despite being shot multiple times

Boy, 17, fatally shot in Kent in exchange of gunfire identified | Update

Shooting between subjects in vehicles Feb. 20 along East Valley Highway near South 180th Street

Car damaged by bullets during Feb. 19 Interstate 5 shooting. (Courtesy of Washington State Patrol)
King County Councilmember wants more info about I-5 shootings

The letter, addressed to WSP Chief John R. Batiste, comes in wake of a Feb. 19 drive-by shooting that occurred on I-5 in Tukwila that left a victim in critical condition.

Kent man, 83, dies after medical emergency while driving on East Hill

Reportedly died from medical issue prior to single-car crash Feb. 2o along 132nd Avenue SE

Rep. Mia Gregerson. COURTESY PHOTO, Legislative Support Services
Gregerson state bill aims to improve immigration support

Designed to better address needs of refugees, immigrants arriving in Washington state

Federal Way man faces charges for shooting, injuring trooper in Kent

Trooper reportedly shot nine times Feb. 16 after a struggle following foot pursuit

Courtesy image, U.S. Department of Justice
Kent man pleads guilty to selling guns to those with criminal histories

Sold more than 100 firearms to those barred from possessing guns