What are those things on the streets of downtown KC?  'Pucks' added to deter secondary shows, donuts

What are those things on the streets of downtown KC? ‘Pucks’ added to deter secondary shows, donuts

A new public safety device in downtown Kansas City aims to deter anyone planning to present donuts at illegal shows, police said.

In recent months, Kansas City has seen an increase in illegal street racing activity, with many complaints directed at downtown shows in particular.

On Monday, the city’s public works department installed a number of small discs in the roadway along downtown Grand Boulevard, Kansas City Police Department Maj. Dave Jackson told The Star. As of Tuesday afternoon, about 50 of them were set up at the intersection of 13th Street and Grand.

The city hopes to install more of these “paddles” in other areas known for their illegal shows in the near future.

The small raised fixtures adhere to the concrete and don’t interfere with normal driving, Jackson said. But they hinder lateral movement.

If a person decides to do a donut, for example, the “puck” would “make it harder for the tire to maintain its direction,” Jackson said.

The city and the police department hope the new facilities will help limit parallel gatherings.

Since June 2020, KCPD has issued nearly 70 citations for side shows and over 120 for spectators. In a weekend in early November, they issued 31 more to participants and two to spectators after around 90 vehicles gathered near the town centre.

A new public safety device called “pucks” is being installed in downtown Kansas City to deter anyone planning to play donuts at illegal shows. Bill Lukitsch – Kansas City Star

“More aggressive de-escalation”

Last week, KCPD released a video highlighting the risks of sideshows, including fines and, in the most extreme cases, jail time. In the video, they announced that they were “actively enforcing the law” against side shows.

Now that the message is out, Jackson said, the department is focused on strategic enforcement.

“We have directed officers that, when safe and appropriate, we will deploy more aggressive de-escalation devices called bangons,” he said.

Police officials have said in recent years that their ability to stop sideshows is limited by a local ordinance and that they will not pursue vehicles solely for traffic violations due to the greater risk of prosecution. policewomen. That means they have to find other ways to deter runners from taking to the streets.

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About 50 disc-shaped devices were installed across the intersection of 13th Street and Grand Avenue. The devices were installed by the city’s public works department to reduce car stunt activity in the area. Bill Lukitsch – Kansas City Star

Jackson said there has been no increase in resources or the number of officers assigned to run secondary shows.

“We’re just giving the officers already there clear instructions on what we want to do,” he said. “We have also asked our dispatchers and agents to respond as quickly as possible.”

The department will also check officers’ car cameras and monitor social media to identify and track any license plates seen on vehicles involved in sideshows, even after the event is over, he said.

3 deaths in 2 months

The Grand Boulevard area in downtown KC was chosen as the first location for the “paddles” in part because of the number of side shows the area sees, Jackson said.

The city and the police have received numerous complaints from the business community and tenants who live in the area. Illegal gatherings often block other car traffic, as well as bicycle traffic, making the city’s bike paths impassable.

But more than anything, they are dangerous.

In September and October alone, three people in Kansas City were killed as a direct result of illegal entertainment. Two of the deaths occurred downtown.

Around midnight on September 6, while a show was going on in the 3600 block of East Front Street, a spectator was struck by an orange Dodge Charger.

When the police arrived, the drivers, who were making donuts in a parking lot, fled. The viewer was taken to hospital where he died.

On October 2, a Kansas City police officer attempted to arrest Jose Angel Vega, a driver doing donuts in downtown Kansas City in a 2004 Cadillac CTS. Vega partially stopped at Truman Road and Grand Boulevard, then accelerated on Grand, police said.

When Vega ran a red light at 13th Street and Grand, the pursuing officer turned off his siren and lights and stopped the pursuit, court records show.

Vega continued, reaching speeds of 103 miles per hour, then hit a Chevrolet Silverado stopped at a red light at 11th Street and Grand, police said.

The Chevrolet hit a lamp post and Vega, who had a passenger in his car, hit a lamp post. His Cadillac caught fire.

The Cadillac passenger and Chevrolet driver were taken to hospital where they later died.

Vega, 28, was later charged with two counts of second-degree murder and criminal action with a weapon and one count each of resisting a lawful stop, DWI resulting in death and driving with a revoked license for allegedly fleeing the police, crashed his car and killed two people.

In June, two men allegedly chased down and shot a car carrying two young children — one of whom allegedly had a medical emergency — after it was involved in an accident while performing street stunts on Interstate 70.

An 18-year-old recently pleaded guilty to assaulting an officer who tried to break up the spectacle of around 50 vehicles and 100 spectators after street runners blocked the intersection of Truman Road and Grand Boulevard a few days ago Sundays. In December 2020, drivers blocked traffic in front of the T-Mobile Center for a sideshow.

“A lot of times it seems like the criminal justice system caters to people with fewer resources,” Jackson said. “In this case, these people have very high levels of disposable income. They are very well off, they have expensive cars which they add expensive features to make them even more dangerous.

The people who do this are very rich and they go down to the popular neighborhoods where people live and make the streets inaccessible… it’s selfish.

The Star’s Bill Lukitsch contributed to this report.

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Anna Spoerre covers breaking news for the Kansas City Star. Prior to joining The Star, she covered crime and the courts for the Des Moines Register. Spoerre is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she studied journalism.

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