NewsPalm Beach County


4 arrested, 157 cited in Operation Hot Wheels to crack down on illegal street racing

PBSO, West Palm Beach police work jointly on Saturday
Posted at 7:05 PM, Feb 26, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-26 23:49:05-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Seven people were arrested and 153 traffic citations issued in an effort to crack down on street racing, called Operation Hot Wheels, by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office and West Palm Beach Police Department last weekend.

"This operation is designed to deter criminal activity of Car Clubs within Palm Beach County and safeguard property, and human life, through proactive traffic enforcement," PBSO said in a news release.

Of the citations Saturday night, 87 were for speeding or aggressive driving and 28 for criminal traffic violations. In all there were 147 traffic stops.

The seven people arrested faced a variety of charges: fleeing/eluding law enforcement with lights and sirens; racing on highway, parking lot of roadway; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; reckless driving; obstruction without violence; display of firearm during felony; felony criminal mischief of $1,000 or more, driving vehicle without a valid license

Arrested were Christopher Blasco, 27; Johnathan Emerico Diaz, 25; Lazaro Julio Diaz, 45; Francisco Antonio Marfil, 31; Francis Gabriel Cadena, 29; Israel Kenneth Mcenry, 49; Romeo Gaspar Felipe, 37.

The news release didn't mention the location of the incidents.

Operation Hot Wheels is an ongoing effort by PBSO in association with other agencies.

In October, four men were arrested. Members of a car club began driving recklessly and took part in plaza takeovers at 3961 S. Jog Road in Greenacres.

In late September, PBSO made four arrests during two days in the 1700 block of Meathe Drive. Earlier, men were doing burnouts at the Lake Worth Plaza. 
Other incidents last year occurred throughout the county.
Florida enacted a law in 2022 that prohibits street racing activities, including drag racing, street takeovers, stunt driving, drifting, wheelies, burnouts and doughnuts.