ANGELINO HEIGHTS, Calif. — Chanting “street racing kills,” “film in a studio” and “race on a track,” Angelino Heights residents fed up with the “Fast and Furious” movie franchise filming in their neighborhood and inspiring copycat street racers took to the streets Friday in protest.

“These clowns would come by the ‘Fast and Furious’ house and race up and down the street 20 or 30 times before they’d finally get bored, sometimes crashing into parked cars,” said Tad Yenuwine, who lives on the same street as the baby blue craftsman where the fictional “Fast and Furious” character Dom Toretto lives in the movies.

“I don’t think anybody was actually killed on my street, but that’s beside the point,” he said. “Getting woke up at 3 o’clock in the morning by some idiot with a nine-inch exhaust pipe burning up and down your street all night and then maybe crashing because they can’t quite hold a slightly curved line is really pretty pathetic.”

(Spectrum News/Susan Carpenter)

Yenuwine was part of a group of about 30 people marching with signs across asphalt that was marked with ribbons of rubber from street stunts. While some were residents of the neighborhood, others were family members of street racing victims in other parts of Los Angeles holding signs with their pictures that read, “I was killed by street racing” and “Fast & Injurious.”

“I’ve had to deal with waking up in the middle of the night every single day maybe three to four to five times,” an Angelino Heights resident of 17 years told the crowd.

She lives on Bellevue Avenue near the Bob’s Market that appears in the films and where amateur racers often do burnouts. 

Steps away from the market’s entrance and the resident’s doorstep, the asphalt is covered in circles of rubber.

“People who come in here and do this are not thinking, ‘Geez. Let me see. Is this affecting the elderly in the middle of the night or the small little children?’” said the resident, adding that her daughter is afraid to leave the house, fearing an out-of-control car will hit her. “What about the parents that need to get up in the morning or go to work and go to school? To them, what’s important is the thrill of what they’re doing.”

The protest is taking place in two parts Friday during a shoot day for “Fast 10” — the tenth installment of the franchise. Moments before protesters took to the streets in the morning, a flatbed carrying what appeared to be the 1970 Dodge Charger Vin Diesel’s character drives in the film wheeled along Bellevue, as dozens of police vehicles patrolled the area and film crew members worked around the corner at the Toretto house on Kensington.

A second, larger protest is scheduled for Friday from 5 to 10 p.m. at Marion Park, a sliver of grass across the street from Bob’s Market. 

“The community has been requesting help and nothing has been done,” said protest organizer and Streets Are For Everyone Executive Director, Damian Kevitt.

SAFE is one of a handful of groups that responded to requests for help from Angelino Heights residents, who have long complained to city official that their streets are a playground for “Fast and Furious” copycats, endangering their safety by speeding through residential streets and keeping people awake with noisy exhaust. 

The first “Fast and Furious” movie was released in 2001, followed by eight more films in the blockbuster franchise that features a group of friends who race souped-up cars on the street.

“Fast 10” is currently filming in Angelino Heights and scheduled for release next year. 


Two years ago, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation installed plastic bollards in the intersection between the two Angelino Heights “Fast and Furious” filming meccas — the Toretto house on Kensington and Bob’s Market on Bellevue.

Still, the street bears the markings of automotive antics.

“We’re here to uplift the health of the community and to call attention to the fact that NBCUniversal is making billions on these movies, yet there is no social responsibility for the results of those movies, not only in Angelino Heights but across all of Southern California,” Kevitt said.

Fellow “Fast and Furious” protester and Street Racing Kills founder, Lillian Trujillo Puckett, would like NBCUniversal to use some of the profits from the enormously successful films to fund street racing education and prevention programs, and maybe even sponsor race tracks as an alternative for car enthusiasts who feel the need for speed.

The protest comes as the city struggles to reign in illegal street takeovers, sideshows and street races. In the last year, street racing increased 27%, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The city also saw a 21% increase in serious injuries and a 30% increase in traffic fatalities. Excessive speed is often a contributing factor to roadway deaths, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.