Car dealership where Duluth Police say illegal drag race ended
2009 BMW involved in Duluth street race
2006 Corvette involved in Duluth street race
Duluth drag race suspects Jun Suk Lee, 30, and Michael Rodriguez, 42
Sgt. Scott Smith arresting Duluth drag race suspects
DULUTH, Ga. -- The recording of his voice on his patrol car video said it all for Duluth Police Sgt. Scott Smith.
"I've never seen anything like that...EVER!" he exclaimed just after catching up to a pair of accused street racers.
Sgt. Smith was sitting in his patrol car in the parking lot of the Duluth Police Department last Friday afternoon when he couldn't believe what he was seeing.
He said two cars, a red Corvette and a black BMW, stopped in the middle of busy Buford Highway, right in front of the police station, and then took off drag racing down the highway.
He took off after them, but before he could catch them, they'd turned into a small used car lot about a half mile away.
The drivers were just getting out of the 2006 Corvette and 2009 BMW when he pulled up on them and asked for their licenses.
"Why'd you pick a police department to stop in the middle of the road and race away from?" he can be heard asking on his car video.
One of the drivers, Michael Rodriguez, can be heard saying, "Obviously not thinking...I'm not going to give a stupid excuse."
What surprised Duluth Police even more is the age of the two drivers, 42-year-old Rodriguez and 30-year-old Jun Suk Lee.
"These people were in their thirties and forties, so you would just not expect somebody, you know, of that age to act that way," Duluth Police Major Don Woodruff told 11 Alive News on Tuesday.
Even more surprising is that 42-year-old Rodriguez identified himself as the owner of the used car lot.
In his report, Sgt. Smith said Rodriguez didn't seem to take the situation seriously at first, even thinking he might get off with a warning ticket.
But then he and the other driver found themselves being handcuffed by Sgt. Smith and Officer Terry Stewart.
"Racing is an arrestable offense," Sgt. Smith explained in the video.
"Now when you stop in front of a police department and race..." he continued.
"Absolutely stupid of me," Rodriguez answered.
"It wasn't a very bright idea," Smith replied.
Rodriguez and Lee were both charged with racing on highways or streets as well as improper stopping on a roadway.
Rodriguez was also charged with improper use of a dealer tag since he said he did not yet own the red Corvette.
If it matters, Sgt. Smith noted on the video that the Corvette won the dangerous illegal contest.