Exclusive video shows the illegal street takeover just before the suspect leads a deadly police chase

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Exclusive video shows an illegal street takeover just before a suspect led them on a deadly chase.

In the video, drivers perform stunts in their trucks and cars, with one man even hanging out of a window while onlookers cheer them on.

Damian West took part in a street takeover on Kempwood Drive around 6pm on Friday before a police pursuit ended in a fatal accident involving multiple vehicles, police say.

“He left after police dispersed the group, and when he left he was driving extremely erratically, running red lights, speeding and weaving in and out of traffic,” said Lynn Nguyen of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office . “He dodged the police and ended up hitting a vehicle, an innocent third party, and killing the driver of that vehicle.”

The Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office have two teams dedicated to combating street takeovers.

According to Nguyen, an undercover officer from the Houston Police Department was already at the event.

“They are very proactive in their investigation. They go covertly on social media and infiltrate these groups and find out what events are happening. They record, make sure crimes are happening, and then send officers there to disband the group. That ultimately happened,” Nguyen said.

Officials have tracked these events, which begin in parking lots and then usually spill over onto the street. Because they are dangerous and endanger human life, investigators often find that other illegal activities are taking place.

“A street takeover group is basically a group of people who get together and plan and host an event in a parking lot or out on the streets of Harris County,” Nguyen said. “They will perform deadly stunts in a pit they created with vehicles. Aside from the deadly behavior, there’s a lot of crime, there’s drugs, all sorts of crimes that happen.”

The suspect, who led the police pursuit, has been charged with murder and aggravated assault. According to Nguyen, arrests will continue as officers try to find out who else was involved in the street takeover.

“We found out who are the people who are putting these events together, who is really promoting these events,” Nguyen said. “We are filing criminal involvement with these people. That has taken effect because once we take out the people hosting and planning these events, the group essentially disbands afterwards.”

For updates on this story, follow Brooke Taylor on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All rights reserved. Exclusive video shows the illegal street takeover just before the suspect leads a deadly police chase

Dais Johnston

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