Police: Connecticut man arrested for leading 'street takeovers' including racing and blocking roads

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man was charged Monday with rioting and other crimes after police said he led a series of “street takeovers” across the state over the weekend involving illegal racing and mobs of people blocking roads.

State police said they arrested Jefferson Duron, 20, of Norwalk, shortly after 1:30 a.m. following the takeovers in Hartford, Tolland and New Haven counties involving more than 200 people on Sunday. Troopers said they pulled him over near Milford after his car was identified as one of the vehicles leading the events.

It wasn't immediately clear if Duron has a lawyer who could respond to the allegations. He was detained on $250,000 bail.

At one of the takeovers in Tolland on Sunday night, dozens of people blocked a main road leading to the University of Connecticut in nearby Storrs, just off Interstate 84. There were reports of bystander vehicles getting struck by baseball bats, an ambulance being damaged during a medical call and participants striking and jumping on a woman's car, said Tolland Town Manager Brian Foley.

“These events have a propensity for injury, property damage, mob-mentality decision making and a high potential for violence,” Foley, a former state trooper, wrote in a social media post Monday.

Street takeovers and illegal racing have become problems across the country, surging after the coronavirus pandemic started.

Last week in California, a person was shot and wounded during a street takeover in Los Angeles and the California Highway Patrol launched new efforts against illegal street racing in advance of opening night of the action movie “Fast X.”