State Trooper Crashes Baltimore Co. Street Race, Stops Driver at Start Line

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A Chevrolet Corvette found at the start line. Photo via Maryland State Police.

Last night, dozens turned out for a good old-fashioned Sunday evening drag race in Essex. Unfortunately for the crowd that gathered, some of the supped-up cars heading there were a dead giveaway before it even started.

Maryland State Police say a trooper from the department’s Golden Ring Barrack in Baltimore County was on patrol last night when he spotted several “heavily modified, high performance vehicles” heading in the same direction toward Kelso Drive.

He followed them and wound up in an industrial lot with dozens of cars parked along the street and two cars – a blue Mitsubishi and a white Corvette – facing off at a makeshift start line. The driver of the Mitsubishi took off when he saw the trooper, as did some of the spectators.

The Corvette driver, identified as Michael Chen of Abingdon, remained. Wanting to clear the area and get everybody else out – spectators had been standing at the start line and at their cars, and had parked in the middle of the road – the trooper directed everybody to leave and not come back under threat of “further police action.”

After searching Chen’s Corvette, police say the trooper found several safety equipment violations. The only arrest, Chen was charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace and given three traffic citations, then released on his own recognizance.

The department said that section of Kelso Road between Rossville and Martin boulevards is a known street racing hotspot. As evidence, the trooper found “thick rubber tread marks” from where cars have spun their wheels to create a grippy surface on the starting line.

That location sits almost exactly a half-beltway loop away from another popular drag racing area near I-70 in Woodlawn. Two months ago, the State Highway Administration put signs there reading “Video Monitoring In Operation” to go with the surveillance cameras they had already installed to crack down on the races.

Ethan McLeod
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