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Cleveland residents demand a stop to Bessemer Avenue drag racing

Posted at 9:21 PM, Aug 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-14 23:16:46-04

CLEVELAND — East side Cleveland residents living in the area of Bessemer Avenue are demanding a stoppage to the chronic drag racing they said has been terrorizing their neighborhood for years.

Homeowners like Gary Scofinsky have captured the illegal drag racing on both audio and video recordings and one residents even used a drone to document the potentially dangerous activity.

“Enough is enough, somethings got to be done, it’s got to stop, this has been going on for years,” Scofinsky said.

"Regular traffic can’t go up and down Bessemer Avenue because they have to yield to the drag racers.”

“I’d Iike the Mayor to listen to it, maybe he’d like that outside his house on a Saturday night.”

St. Hyacinth Block Club leader Kathy McDonald told News 5 she reported the drag racing to Cleveland fourth district police numerous times over the past five years, but believes the city "no chase" policy has hampered enforcement.

“We need an officer here posted in an unmarked car, have them sit the cul-de-sac until they start rallying,” McDonald said.

“Some nights there’s over 100 cars out here, racing through our streets, they’re not just doing Bessemer, no they’re doing East 65.”

“They’ll start at East 79 Street and come right down the hill and go right down to East 55 Street, and they even have spectators over there, you can hear them cheering.”

"I’m sure some of them are driving with illegal licenses. I’m sure there’s guns. I’m sure there’s drugs, illegal drinking while they’re driving.”

News 5 contacted Ward 5 Cleveland Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland about the chronic drag racing issue but we're still waiting for response.

McDonald said the speed bandits are even listening to police scanners to stay one step ahead of law enforcement.

“It's very upset, it’s a quality of life issue,” McDonald said.

“If somebody gets killed out here, then they’ll come and say 'Oh we should have done something.'”