Seven men were jailed Friday night in Augusta on charges of drag racing and reckless driving on Bobby Jones Expressway.
But one suspect says his car club was unfairly targeted by deputies because they drive modified imports. And he says the group of seven was cruising, not driving recklessly and not drag racing.
“It’s like they are gunning for the imports right now,” said 28-year-old Steven Richardson of Hephzibah. “It really is outrageous.”
Sheriff’s Sgt. Michael McDaniel Sr. has refused repeated requests to discuss the drag racing case and emailed The Jail Report an incident report number that remained unavailable Tuesday morning.
“Everyone is going to be fighting it because they have no proof of us doing anything,” Richardson said. “They had no officer able to clock us. They had no officer recording us. All they have is the word of an off-duty cop who called dispatch. … Supposedly, an off-duty officer was cut off by one of the cars.”
Richardson says members of the car club were riding together late Friday as a memorial to one member’s mother, who was buried earlier in the day. They were on Bobby Jones Expressway, driving less than 10 mph over the speed limit and were exiting on Doug Bernard Parkway when a group of nearly 20 deputies surrounded them and pulled them over.
” A friend of mine counted 18 deputies,” Richardson said. “They started pulling people out, cuffing them and putting them in the back of the patrol car.”
Richardson said they were told their charges and informed the crackdown was occurring because of bad wreck on Washington Road two weeks ago where a woman was almost killed.
“From what they said, they have been gunning for us in the last couple weeks,” said Richardson, who drives a modified 1994 Honda Civic that is lowered with after-market wheels and a loud exhaust.
Charged with reckless driving and drag racing are (from left, top row) Seth Lee, 20, of Hephzibah; Jesse Quick, 27, of Augusta; Michael Bouton, 24, of Augusta; Michael Richardson, 24, of Augusta; (bottom row) Ashton Brewer, 25, of Grovetown; Steven Richardson, and Tyler Bell, 19, of Martinez. Lee was also charged with a restricted license.
Steven Richardson said their tickets totaled $2,800 each.