Breaking News
More () »

Wethersfield residents call for protection after illegal vehicle rally

Residents call on police to protect public safety and quality of life

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. — Residents in Wethersfield are calling on the police to protect not only their safety but also their quality of life, after an illegal vehicle rally over the weekend terrorized a neighborhood.

It happened Saturday night at about 10:00 under the highway overpass at the busy intersection of Jordan Lane and Wolcott Hill Road. There are still tire marks on the road from the dozens of vehicles that did donuts.

The incident was caught on camera, posted to a Ring video page and shared with the neighborhood. “There is absolutely no reason why this should be happening,” a woman can be heard saying. “This is just unbelievable. People live here.”

RELATED: Murders up slightly, most property crimes down per Connecticut's annual crime report

Police say dozens of vehicles and about 100 people blocked the major intersection. “There’s just cars constantly showing up one after the other doing donuts.”

“It looked like an apocalyptic scene. It was the most bizarre thing I’ve ever seen. It was in the middle of the road,” Deana Tracey of Wethersfield said.

She’s lived in town all her life and told FOX61 more needs to be done to secure the streets. 

“This part of Wethersfield has been ignored. Like I posted on Facebook, should we call Hartford PD? Did you forget this is Wethersfield? That’s my takeaway,” remarked Tracey.

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines

We took that concern to the Wethersfield Police, who told us they don’t tailor their response to a location.

“It doesn’t matter what part of town it is. As soon as we get the call to provide assistance we will provide whatever assistance or services are needed anywhere in town,” explained Capt. Mark Petruzzi of the Wethersfield Police Department.

Police did show up but not before people scattered. 

“Let’s go, let’s go!” said a man on the video as the police rolled up the scene. “Everybody is running,” the woman on the video remarked.

RELATED: Glastonbury police say 2 teens killed in SUV, motorcycle crash

But residents say it took more than 30 minutes.

“Somebody could have gotten killed,” said Tracey. 

“Please know that this is not being ignored by any means,” responded Capt. Petruzzi.

Police say that although they were unable to respond to the area in time to make any arrests, they are still actively investigating. 

“There are many techniques that we can use to try and find folks after the fact, which is what we are doing right now,” remarked Capt. Petruzzi. “We just recently established a traffic unit so we have an officer specifically assigned to deal with motor vehicle violations.”

Wethersfield is a border community. It’s believed that most of these suspects were from out of town.

Mayor Mike Rell told FOX61 he hopes this is an isolated incident.

Some political campaigns, like that of Republican candidate for State Representative Brianna Timbro, say the incident highlights the need to unhandcuff the police from doing their jobs. 

“There’s a real concern for families who moved the Wethersfield who have not dealt with this. Now they are looking over their shoulder to go to the grocery store or pump gas,” said Timbro.

But Democratic State Senator Matt Lesser told FOX61 the police accountability bill didn’t place any additional restrictions on law enforcement's ability to pursue suspects and noted that this past session the legislature passed a bipartisan juvenile crime bill. 

“To try and address that specific issue. Trying to make sure police and prosecutors have the information they need to go after repeat offenders,” added Sen. Lesser.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com



Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.


Before You Leave, Check This Out