Prince George’s County, MD – In response to a surge in illegal pop-up car events causing chaos and endangering public safety, the Prince George’s County Police Department launched a new initiative on Friday, June 23, 2023. These events, which have drawn participants from various regions and neighboring states, have led to blocked roadways, property damage, and reckless driving, creating hazardous conditions for drivers, spectators, and innocent bystanders.

Illegal gatherings have become a growing concern for authorities as crowds gather around them, attempting to prevent law enforcement officers from taking appropriate action. With attendance at these events exceeding 150 people, managing and controlling the situation has become increasingly challenging.

Taking action against this menace, on June 24th at approximately 10:00 p.m., officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department, in collaboration with the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police, dispersed a large gathering in a parking lot near Marlboro Pike and Forestville Road. This operation resulted in three arrests, including 27-year-old Alan Terrell McKenzie from Suitland, who was charged with hit and run. Additionally, two 17-year-old males were charged with disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment. Shockingly, they also aimed a laser beam at a police helicopter present at the scene to collect video evidence, which is a direct violation of United States Code Title 18 – 39A*.

In response to this serious offense, the names of the two individuals responsible for targeting the police helicopter with a laser beam have been submitted to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for further investigation and possible charges. This dangerous act carries severe consequences under United States law, including fines and imprisonment for up to five years.

The Prince George’s County Police Department has taken a strong stance against these illegal and perilous pop-up car events. Investigators from the department’s Homeland Security Division are meticulously reviewing video evidence collected from various sources, including officers’ mobile video equipment, nearby surveillance cameras, and footage from the police helicopter. This comprehensive analysis aims to identify the vehicles and individuals involved in the event, ensuring that appropriate charges are levied against them.

Furthermore, insurance companies may receive notification letters from the Prince George’s County Police Department informing them that a vehicle insured under their policy was engaged in illegal street demonstration activity. This measure is a deterrent and emphasizes the gravity of participating in such events.

Participants at these illegal gatherings can face misdemeanor charges or violations of the Maryland Vehicle Law, underscoring the legal consequences of their actions. Law enforcement agencies are determined to ensure public safety by actively enforcing the law and holding accountable those who engage in reckless and dangerous behavior on the streets.

The Prince George’s County Police Department’s initiative to combat illegal pop-up car events is a testament to their commitment to maintaining law and order in the community. By partnering with other agencies and utilizing various sources of evidence, they aim to end these dangerous events that have proven to be a nuisance and threat to public safety.

Residents and law-abiding citizens can find solace in the fact that authorities are actively addressing the issue and taking the necessary steps to apprehend and prosecute those responsible. As the investigation continues, Prince George’s County Police are determined to restore order and ensure that the county’s roads remain safe for everyone.

*US Code Title 18 – 39A – Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States or at the flight path of such an aircraft shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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