Detroit police to crack down on speeders, drag racers after 9-year-old's death
Detroit — Hours after prosecutors charged a man Monday with speeding the wrong way down a city street and causing the death of a 9-year-old , the city's police chief warned lead-footed drivers that a crackdown is underway.
The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged Daveon Hardiman, 20, of Roseville with reckless driving causing death. Police say on Saturday he was speeding in the wrong direction on Andover Street, causing the death of Mai’Juan Calderin, 9, of Detroit.
Mai’Juan was driving a four-wheel ATV at the intersection of Andover and East Lantz, police said.
"Enough is enough," Detroit police Chief James Craig said during a press conference at Maheras-Gentry Park on the city's east side. "This should never have happened."
Craig said the return of warm weather means speeders, "drifters" and drag racers have hit the road in large numbers, and the department is deploying helicopters and undercover officers in an effort to thwart them.
The press conference was held in front of a red Dodge Challenger, which officers seized from drag racers. Craig said he wanted to warn drivers who break the law that his officers will seize their vehicles.
The chief said over the past weekend, officers broke up drag racing and other illegal street competitions, resulting in six felony arrests, including three people charged with carrying concealed weapons, and two others charged with reckless driving.
"Two were in possession of stolen motor vehicles," Craig said. "We impounded 20 vehicles, and also issued 119 tickets."
Craig said officers will use helicopters to chase lawbreakers.
"We average between 20 and 25 incidents a day where officers are taunted by people who tell them, 'We know you can't chase us,'" he said. "So we're deploying helicopters and undercover vehicles ... you can't outrun a helicopter."
Annie Holt, a member of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners, said she often hears her constituents complain about drag racing and other aggressive driving.
"It's time we address this horrible issue," she said. "It’s unfortunate that people will not obey the law and dive with care and safety … many times, there are children in those cars, and the crashes are killing innocent children and other innocent victims."