7 arrested in connection with street racing crackdown in Miami-Dade County

1 suspect faces charge of battery on law enforcement officer

From left: Alexis Perez, 19, of Miami; David Perez, 17, of Fort Pierce; and Edgar Damian Escamilla, 18, of Fort Pierce. (Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – Seven people, two of whom are minors, have been arrested in connection with an ongoing street racing operation in Miami-Dade County, authorities announced Wednesday.

The suspects arrested over the past week include Alexis Perez, 19, of Miami; Bill Alexander Martinez-Rivera, 19, of Miami; Jacob Michael Bolden, 17, of Port St. Lucie; Austin Diaz, 18, of Miami; David Perez, 17, of Fort Pierce; Edgar Damian Escamilla, 18, of Fort Pierce; and Jose Guadalupe Brizuela, 20, of Fort Pierce.

The group faces various charges, including inciting a riot, battery on a police officer or firefighter, obstructing a highway and facilitating drag racing on a highway.

Miami-Dade police said Alexis Perez is the sixth person to be arrested “for organizing car meets for the sole purpose of engaging in reckless and dangerous actions across our County, which include drag racing, burnouts, sliding, drifting and donuts.”

From left: Bill Alexander Martinez-Rivera, 19, of Miami; Austin Diaz, 18, of Miami; and Jose Guadalupe Brizuela, 20, of Fort Pierce. (Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation)

The investigation into illegal street racing in Miami-Dade County began in December 2022.

According to detectives, Alexis Perez used an app to promote and advertise numerous takeover events throughout Miami-Dade and other counties in Florida.

“Amongst numerous chat members, he sent addresses and locations for other car clubs/spectators to meet and participate in the events, including blocking intersections from public use and emergency vehicle access, so that cars can perform drifting, donuts, and other stunts without interruption,” a news release from the police department stated.

Police said spectators would surround police cars when they arrived.

During one incident, police said someone ignited a firework that exploded directly in front of officers and those being arrested.

Another incident occurred Sunday, involving David Perez, Brizuela and Escamilla.

According to David Perez’s arrest report, the group was spotted by officers around 2:30 a.m. in the area of Northwest 27th Avenue and 54th Street, placing cones and barricades in the roadway to obstruct traffic.

Several marked police vehicles then entered the intersection and officers ordered the group to stop, the report stated.

Police said the group fled to a nearby Checker’s parking lot, where a detective in plainclothes identified himself as a law enforcement officer and tried to take them into custody.

According to the arrest report, the detective grabbed one of the suspects by the jacket and tried to redirect him to the ground to apprehend him, but the two others surrounded him “in a combative manner.”

Police said David Perez punched the detective in the head, at which time the detective punched him several times back and then took him to the ground.

According to the report, police had to punch Escamilla several times in the face and torso as he resisted their efforts to arrest him.

Both Escamilla and Perez were cleared at the scene by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue before being taken to jail, authorities said.

“Throughout the investigation, detectives have discovered that these events have led to criminal activity and in some cases, shootings and vehicle crashes resulting in loss of human life,” the news release stated.

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.