For the last two months, the airport community made multiple complaints about a group of 60 to 80 cars congregating at the airport’s Sunoco gas station, property that is owned by the Port Authority.
According to PAPD, police officers attempted to address the racing by conducting surge patrols at the plaza. But whenever the cops would enter the plaza, the cars would just take off.
“This is terribly inconvenient to the passengers who use the airport and the loss of revenue to the tenant,” said Inspector Richard Bellucci, who serves as the commander at JFK Airport.
PAPD took a different approach on the morning of February 15. Plainclothes officers staked out a remote area near the gas station, and at approximately 12:30 a.m. officers reported between 60 and 70 cars parked throughout the plaza.
After giving the signal, PAPD units moved in, sealed all exits and entrances to the plaza and set up a “vehicle safety checkpoint.” Each car was checked for safety and operator credentials.
Three drivers were arrested for having suspended driver’s licenses. PAPD also issued two criminal summonses for marijuana possession, three summonses for “No Standing” violations, and 20 summonses for other traffic violations.
Altogether, nine cars were impounded for vehicle and traffic violations.
The plan was executed with no injuries to both the civilians and members of the PAPD, authorities said.
“Street racers have been an issue in South Queens,” Bellucci added. “We wanted to disrupt their activities and send a message that their activities are not welcome here.”