San Antonio officials on alert after Austin street takeover incidents

Several arrests have been made in connection with Saturday’s street takeover in Austin

SAN ANTONIO – Days after a viral street takeover in Austin, the police department there is updating on what they’re calling a large-scale investigation.

Police in Austin said an officer was hurt, and several patrol cars were damaged Saturday night during a series of takeovers in the city.

That incident comes more than a month after a street takeover in San Antonio on I-10 near Callaghan.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus tweeted a response to Austin’s takeover.

Austin’s police chief spoke about the takeover for the first time on Tuesday.

“We received a call from our call-taking center from the San Antonio Police Department about a possible street takeover on Saturday the following night,” Austin Police Chief Joseph Chacon said.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg says he saw the Austin video on Twitter and got in contact with Chief McManus to make sure the same wouldn’t happen in our city.

“We don’t take this lightly. It is a danger to the public. It’s a danger to the police officers themselves, so we want to make sure they have proper support,” Nirenberg said.

SAPD issued the following statement:

“‘Take Over’ events are organized on social media and encourage the drivers (’swingers’ or ‘drifters’) to perform donuts, burn-outs, or other displays of speed and acceleration. These are typically isolated incidents and we ask the public to call the police and report these activities. On the rare occasion that large numbers of takeover participants plan a “street takeover” we monitor the through our Fusion Center and respond accordingly. Our SAPD’s Street Crimes unit takes the lead on takeover meets along with our Traffic Unit Officers. We utilize all resources, including helicopters, to coordinate a response and keep the public safe.”

Nirenberg said it’s about “making sure we have, you know, the proper information available so that, before these crowds assemble, there are police officers in the vicinity.”

Austin PD said six arrests have been made in connection with Saturday’s street takeover, and more arrests are anticipated.

APD’s chief says police were blocked from responding to several of the street takeover scenes because of hostile crowds.

SAPD says it is illegal to block police or other emergency responders’ paths. Doing so can result in a felony-level offense, and your vehicle could be seized.


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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Joe Arredondo is a photojournalist at KSAT 12.