Doughnuts & street racing: Late night reckless drivers a nuisance for downtown residents

Residents say it’s happening near Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters on E. Bay Street

Peel outs and drag racing right in front of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters downtown -- it’s an ongoing issue that some residents say has become a nuisance late at night.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Peel outs and street racing right in front of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office headquarters downtown -- it’s an ongoing issue that some residents say has become a nuisance late at night.

The most recent incident was reported last weekend when a resident in Berkman Plaza recorded a driver in a sports car doing doughnuts at the intersection of Bay and Liberty streets. The man who recorded video of it said he’s recorded several videos of similar instances for the past year and said he’s regularly emailed JSO about it.

In one of his emails, the resident asks: “What is it going to take for JSO to take this behavior seriously?”

News4JAX was out in the area talking to residents Tuesday and came across Charles Payne, who said it happens frequently.

“Kind of bold to do that in front of the police station,” said Payne.

News4JAX crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said he suspects the drivers are doing this deliberately to antagonize JSO.

“I do suspect this is a deliberate act,” Jefferson said. “Out of all the streets and areas they could perform this crazy act, why do it right next to a police station?”

Jefferson added that while 500 East Bay Street is JSO headquarters, that doesn’t mean it’s overflowing with active officers 24/7.

“What the people that are committing these acts are banking on is the fact that it’s the weekend after 5 o’clock. It’s a police station. They know that it’s shut down for all practical purposes. They know there’s not a bunch of police officers in there waiting to enforce the law,” said Jefferson.

A request for comment from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office was not returned by publication of this article.


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Specializes in Clay County issues, general assignment reporting and stories off the beaten path and anchors weekend evening newscasts.