Florida Lawmaker Shows Video of Decapitated Woman to Push Bill Outlawing Street Takeovers

Democratic Senator Jason Pizzo of Florida showed a video of a decapitated woman during a street takeover in order to push for a bill he is sponsoring that would make the events illegal in Florida.

During Wednesday's Senate Committee, Pizzo showed Senate Transportation Committee members videos of cars doing doughnuts during a street takeover. Scenes in the video showed tires screeching and smoking while drivers went in circles with passengers hanging out windows, according to the Associated Press. Spectators were trying to touch the cars, and, in the last scene, a woman's head was seen lying in the street.

As one of the members gasped, Pizzo said, "That's a mother of four who was decapitated. They were leaning outside the car, and these cars go astray."

Hundreds of spectators usually appear at the events during which cars stop traffic in all directions by blocking off access to intersections, which can make it difficult for officers to respond to injuries and other calls.

Pizzo is pushing for a bill that participating in a street takeover as a driver, passenger or spectator would be a first-degree misdemeanor. Fines could be between $500 and $1,000, and violators could face up to a year in jail. The bill was unanimously approved Wednesday by a Senate committee.

Street takeovers consist of stunts performed in cars, such as burnouts, doughnuts and drifting. In Miami, the events are almost nightly and have caused many injuries and deaths not only in Miami but other cities, including those in California and Texas.

In Los Angeles, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials are concerned, according to KTLA. "We are currently deploying additional officers to combat these street racing issues, and we are not utilizing our Street Racing Task Force as well as our surrounding law enforcement agencies," CHP officials said early 2021.

Car on Street
Senator Jason Pizzo of Florida recently introduced a bill that would make participating in a street takeover as a driver, passenger or spectator a first-degree misdemeanor. A car drives along a deserted road at the start of an overnight curfew that will lead to a Delhi state-wide weekend curfew imposed by the authorities to curb the spreading of the COVID in New Delhi on January 7, 2022. Sajjad Hussain/Getty Images

With most misdemeanors, a law enforcement office has to witness the infraction to make an arrest without a warrant, but the bill would allow arrests based on video or other evidence even if an officer doesn't see it firsthand, Pizzo said.

Takeovers are often planned on social media, with videos of the events later posted on websites like YouTube.

"It is something that in my district that is a huge problem," said Democratic Senator Shevrin Jones, who represents Miami-Gardens. "If you ride down the street, you'll see at the intersection there are tire marks in the middle of the street where kids play and also where neighbors walk. It's extremely dangerous."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.