Las Vegas Boulevard ‘Street Takeover’ Halted by Metro Cops

Posted on: August 5, 2022, 11:41h. 

Last updated on: August 8, 2022, 12:37h.

Local police curtailed a reckless driving event planned for late last week on Las Vegas Boulevard. The drivers were to meet up at the Resorts World Las Vegas parking garage on Friday. Two men were charged, and word of their arrests was reported late this week.

Graham Liberal, left, and Michael Alex in mug shots
Graham Liberal, left, and Michael Alex in mug shots, pictured above. The duo was charged before taking part in a ‘street takeover’ on the Las Vegas Strip. (Image: LVMPD)

Word of the event started to appear on social media last week. Police launched an inquiry, and organizers Graham Liberal and Michael Alex were arrested. The event is commonly referred to as a “street takeover.” They are seen at times in California, usually late at night.

One Los Angeles TV station, KTLA, explained that often they involve hundreds of spectators and many cars that arrive at a scheduled location. They often block other traffic and perform high-risk stunts during their driving.

They have previously taken place in Nevada. But this planned event was believed to have been the first for the Las Vegas Strip.

Cops Staked Out Event

Aware of the situation, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) officers staked out a location at the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Pebble Road last Friday, according to KSNV, a local TV station. Somewhere between 50 and 75 drivers had already arrived in the area.

One of the vehicles on the scene was a Dodge Charger with a cartoon character wrap. The Dodge was registered to and driven by Michael Alex, according to police. Alex began doing doughnuts upon arriving on the scene. These are risky maneuvers where a driver steers a car in a tight circle. By pressing on the gas pedal, they often leave skid marks on the pavement.

The driver also displayed a firearm and then placed it into his waistband, according to police who had the car under surveillance.

Alex and a passenger, Graham Liberal, who uses the social media handle “Mr.Gotdamnit_” were apprehended by Metro police.

Arrests, Charges

Alex was charged with trick driving, disregarding the safety of persons or property, and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, KSNV reported. Liberal was charged with organizing a speed contest, the report added.

Liberal promotes similar driving events in the US, according to KLAS, another local TV station. He is known to many social media users.

Among those at the event were children who ranged in age from two- to 12 years old, KLAS said.

Under state laws, trick driving is defined as “using a vehicle to perform tricks, stunts, or other maneuvers on the public highway upon which traffic has been diverted, slowed, impeded, or blocked to enable the performing of such tricks, stunts, or other maneuvers.” The stunts are often recorded.

“Don’t come to our city and think you are going to take over!” the LVMPD said in a post announcing the arrests.

Prior Risky Driving

In 2020, Veronica Acosta, 43, of Riverside, Calif., died from her injuries after her SUV crashed into a wall at the Paris Hotel & Casino parking garage. It is located on the Las Vegas Strip. Scott Thomas, 39, of Montclair, Calif., was the driver. He was charged with driving under the influence.

In an unrelated event, a casino worker protesting outside Casino Woodbine in Etobicoke, Toronto, was hit by a car on the picket line on Sunday night. The union claims the action was deliberate.

He suffered a broken ankle and a contusion that required stitches.