Highway Takeover Investigations Concludes with Charges  
On Wednesday March 7, 2021 around 9:00 p.m., the Aurora Police Department Public Safety Dispatch Center began receiving numerous calls from citizens reporting “street racers” were intentionally blocking traffic and driving recklessly on southbound Interstate-225. The callers reported, and officers subsequently found, this was significantly impeding the flow of traffic on Interstate-225, and was preventing many, including law enforcement, from traveling through the area safely.

Multiple officers responding to the area observed traffic was in fact slowing or stopped on southbound Interstate-225 between East Alameda Avenue and East Colfax Avenue. It took approximately 20 minutes for officers to be able to navigate through this area upon their arrival.

Officers were observing some vehicles engaging in “burnouts” which is a term commonly referred to when a driver intentionally keeps a vehicle stationary by applying the brakes while simultaneously applying the gas pedal. As a result, smoke is generated from the wheels due to the friction from the roadway and significantly impedes visibility on the roadway. Additionally, officers observed fireworks had been ignited into the air, and they were receiving reports some of the vehicle occupants were holding guns out of their vehicle windows.

Officers initially reported 600-800 vehicles were involved and through further investigation it is unclear exactly how many people were impacted versus intentionally involved in impeding the flow of traffic and other unlawful traffic violations. Regardless, many individuals were unjustly caught in a potentially dangerous situation, law enforcements ability to respond through the area was significantly impacted, and the incident, referred to by some as a “highway takeover”, created potential to impede anyone’s ability to get through the area to nearby hospitals.

As a result, an investigation was immediately initiated by the Aurora Police Department Traffic Unit with a focus on the organizers or facilitators of the highway takeover. This investigation has resulted in two individuals being identified as being involved or facilitating.

One such individual, a juvenile male, has been issued a state criminal summons with a mandatory court appearance into the Arapahoe County Court for the following Colorado Revised Statues:

• 42-4-1401(1) Reckless Driving
• 42-2-138 (1)(a) Drove Vehicle While License Cancelled
• 42-4-1105 (2)(a) Engaged in Speed Exhibition

Due to the subject involved being a juvenile, and to not further impact the prosecution of this incident, no further information will be provided at this time regarding the juvenile.

The second party investigated as an organizer or facilitator is Anthony Corona DOB 3/2/2000. Aurora Police Department Traffic Unit investigators believe probable cause existed to charge Mr. Corona under the following Colorado Revised Statutes:

• 18-2-201 Conspiracy
• 18-3-208 Reckless Endangerment
• 18-9-107 Obstructing Highway or Other Passageway
• 18-3-303 False Imprisonment
o 45 False Imprisonment counts reflecting the identified victims trapped on I-225 during incident
• 18-9-106 Disorderly Conduct
• 42-4-1105 Exhibition of Speed
• 42-4-1401 Reckless Driving
• 42-4-1103 Impeded Normal Flow of Traffic

Mr. Corona died in a traffic crash in Broomfield on April 4, 2021, before Aurora Police Traffic Unit investigators could formally file the above charges against him with the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

Any additional information on the facts and circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Corona should be directed to the Broomfield Police Department as they are the investigating agency. Due to Mr. Corona’s death the investigation being conducted by the Aurora Police Department Traffic Unit has been closed.

Traffic related injuries and deaths are not only predictable, they are preventable when related to illegal street racing, highway takeovers or other unlawful driving behaviors. Additionally, these incidents are a nuisance and victimize our residential and business communities, and it will not be tolerated by the Aurora Police Department.

The City will now be using Aurora Municipal Code (AMC) 137-7 to target the owners of vehicles that are involved in illegal activities on the roadways regardless of whether they were the driver of the vehicle. Illegal activities include but are not limited to the following traffic violations:

• Section 1401: Reckless Driving
• Section 1402: Careless Driving
• Section 1105: Speed Contest—Speed Exhibitions
• Section 94-71: Trespass
• Section 94-38: Reckless Endangerment

Owners vehicles identified in illegal activities will be provided a notice letter that if the activity continues, they could be subject to prosecution under AMC137-7. A portion of that notice letter reads:

“As the vehicle owner, you are hereby notified that you must make a good faith effort to prevent, through appropriate action or otherwise, any person from re-committing any of the above acts or other street racing related acts contrary to law with your vehicle.”

We would like to thank the many members of the public for their patience while we investigated this complex incident. Additionally, we want to thank those who proactively provided assistance in this investigation. We continue to encourage everyone to report street racing to www.ReportStreetRacing.com. The Aurora Police Department is an active member of this working group of over 30 law enforcement agencies in the metropolitan area.

Officer Crystal McCoy
Public Information Officer
720.432.5095

Posted by ckmccoy@auroragov.org On 28 April, 2021 at 9:46 AM  

 
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