The Atlanta Police Department announced it has arrested a suspect involved in illegal street racing in Buckhead last month.

According to a news release, Feb. 21 at about 2 a.m., the police’s air unit was conducting surveillance on a number of vehicles believed to be involved in street racing activity. During the night, the motorists separated into two groups, with one driving to the Kroger shopping center parking lot at 1715 Howell Mill Road. Some of the vehicles drove around the parking lot while others parked.

“One vehicle, a red Dodge Charger, began driving in a reckless manner, laying drag several times,” the release stated. “APD’s air unit alerted officers who were nearby and they quickly responded and were able to apprehend the driver, 22-year-old Jalen Cruz.”

Cruz was charged with reckless driving and laying drag and was transported to the Atlanta City Detention Center, and the Charger was impounded.

The police also released a video of the incident, shown from its air unit, and it can be viewed by visiting

“This is a small glimpse of some of the activity our officers have to deal with, in addition to responding to emergency calls for help from our communities,” the release stated. “While most of these car enthusiasts appear to be driving safely, we are well aware how quickly these situations can turn dangerous.

“Once one driver begins acting foolishly, trying to show off their vehicle, others soon follow. There were many vehicles circling this lot, along with pedestrians walking through, which could have led to an accident.”

In a March 1 news conference, Sgt. John Chafee, a police spokesman, said Cruz is one of several suspects arrested or ticketed for street racing, organizing it or watching it, all crimes.

“On the weekend we were talking about, we had a total of 147 traffic stops with 182 citations issued, eight vehicles impounded and 13 people arrested,” he said. “Over this past weekend, we had a total of 203 traffic stops with 246 citations issued, six vehicles impounded and 12 arrests.

“So we do have units that are out there addressing these street-racing concerns, trying to find anyone engaging in this type of activity. I just want you to understand this is something we are not going to tolerate in this city.”

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