Nearly every night since The Fast And The Furious debuted in theaters over two decades ago, members of Los Angeles’ Angelino Heights neighborhood have endured the late-night sights, sounds, and dangers of illegal street racing and street takeovers. Over the weekend, community members are staging protests around Fast X’s filming, in an effort to push Universal to do something about the franchise’s rowdiest fans.
“On any given night, especially on the weekends, cars come to Bob’s Market to do burnouts, do screeching tires, burning rubber, which has caused a lot of problems as you can imagine with the community,” Damian Kevitt, executive director and founder of Streets Are For Everyone tells The Wrap.
Fans flock to the aforementioned Bob’s Market as it serves as the location of the Vin Diesel character Dominic Toretto’s family business, Toretto’s Market & Deli. The franchise also films at a nearby Victorian-style home where Dom and his crew live. The protests are being held at Marion Park, a block away from Bob’s Market on Bellevue Avenue.
“There are street takeovers, and spinouts and then they rip up the street doing 70 miles an hour on residential streets on Kensington and then across to Bellevue,” one unnamed woman tells The Wrap. “It’s depressing and scary for everyone that lives in this neighborhood.”
In an interview with Variety, one family describes the constant flow of street racing fans who practice donuts in the streets, revving engines and screeching tires.
“Our mom stays with us, she’s 90, she gets scared at night with this kind of sound,” resident Robert Howard says. “There’s kids in the neighborhood right on that corner. It shouldn’t be allowed.”
The City of Los Angeles previously installed plastic street posts around Bob’s Market and on specific streets as a way to combat the illegal racing—but it’s done little to actually deter enthusiasts. Illegal street racing and takeovers have increased by 27 percent over the last year, according to numbers offered by the Los Angeles Police Department. Residents of Angelino Heights fear it will only get worse with the release of Fast X.
“When they found out that Fast and Furious 10 was going to be filming here—again—and despite requests from community members to stop the filming, to not film here, because of the increased traffic it’ll bring and the increased street racing that it’ll most likely bring, they were ignored,” Kevitt says in an interview with ABC 7.
Protestors are calling for more action from local police as well as Universal to reduce the street racing, which is not only noisy but extremely dangerous. In the last year alone, fatal collisions have increased by 23 percent in LAPD’s Central Bureau, which includes Angelino Heights.
“What’s happening in Angelino Heights is a result of an industry that doesn’t care about its potential consequences,” Kevitt says. “That needs to change and Universal needs to step up and take responsibility for the consequences and billions of money that they’ve made off of this.”