Despite a rash of high-speed crashes in neighboring communities and
the recent arrest of a teenager for driving more than 100 mph through
local freeway traffic, Burbank Police and the California Highway
Patrol say street racing in Burbank is uncommon.
Last month, Stephen Patino, a 19-year-old Los Angeles resident,
was allegedly racing his 2001 Honda Civic eastbound on the Ventura
(134) Freeway packed with morning commuters, CHP Officer Vince Bell
said. Patino’s car and one other car passed a CHP officer near the
Hollywood Way interchange and continued east just past the Golden
State (5) Freeway junction, where the officer was able to get Patino
to pull over, Bell said.
Patino was booked June 20 by Burbank Police on suspicion of
participating in a speed contest and released on $10,000 bail. The driver he was racing managed to drive away.
Bell said it is rare for the CHP to catch cars racing cars in the
act, even though motorists using cell phones frequently alert
“A black and white tends to deter this type of activity around
us,” he said. “Something like this where we witness it is not an
The arrest came just a day after two Glendale men -- a 19-year-old
driver and his 18-year-old passenger -- died during a street race on
Glenoaks Boulevard in Sun Valley.
On Tuesday, a 17-year-old Glendale resident speeding along
Glenoaks Boulevard was critically injured when he lost control of his
car and struck a cement signal post and a tree.
Those and other incidents, including the fatal crash of a street
racer Monday night in Canoga Park, should drive home the dangers of
street racing, Bell said.
“You can just look at the incidents in the last couple of
[weeks],” he said. “This kind of activity kills people.”
Despite the arrest, Bell said street racing is relatively rare in
Burbank, particularly compared to areas of the San Fernando Valley.
Burbank Police Det. Paul Orlowski said several years ago there was
a problem with racing on Vanowen Street, but he could not recall any
incidents in the past couple of years.
Orlowski said there is little police can do to prevent a
spontaneous race from happening, but he believes high visibility has
prevented any organized racing from developing.
“We generally have a lot of cars just moving about, and that tends
to keep people from trying to do it,” he said.