Law enforcement agencies in Hillsborough County cracked down on street racing over the weekend during an 8-hour operation that resulted in eight arrests.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office with help from the Tampa Police Department conducted the sting, which they called “Operation Flex,” on Saturday.
The operation led to 110 traffic stops that ended with 14 citations and 52 warnings in addition to the arrests. The arrests included drug and gun possession charges, the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
The effort in Hillsborough County came about three weeks after law enforcement in Pinellas County cracked down on a street racing event, which resulted in 69 arrests.
St. Petersburg police had vowed renewed efforts to target street racing after authorities said a motorcyclist going more than 100 mph hit and killed 13-year-old Ethan Martin at an event earlier this year. The boy’s father, 35-year-old Johnny Julio Martin, was arrested on a charge of child neglect for bringing his son to the event, police said.
Police arrested the motorcyclist, 21-year-old Carlos Fernandez, on felony charges of vehicular homicide, culpable negligence manslaughter and reckless driving causing serious bodily harm, as well as misdemeanor charges of street racing and operating a motorcycle without an endorsement.
Fernandez and Martin have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
“Tampa Bay law enforcement is sending a loud and resounding message; we are not going to tolerate this type of reckless behavior in our community,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a statement. “Operations like these are essential to the safety and well-being of our community, which is always our top priority.”
Times staff writer Natalie Weber contributed to this report.