4 charged in street-racing event that caused $46,000 in damage to Ikea parking lot

Dangerous parking lot stunts
Dangerous parking lot stunts

HOUSTON – Arrest warrants have been issued for four men, accused of taking part in an illegal racing event in the parking lot of an Ikea in the Spring Branch area, court documents confirmed Monday.

Walter Nash, 26; Alfred Turrubaite, 25; Christopher Smith, 33; and Vaughn Fontenette, 27, have been charged with criminal mischief, a felony, in connection with the event that happened on or about the night of May 16, according to court documents.

Video of the racing event was shared on social media and posted to YouTube, court documents said. Investigators from the Houston Police Department used that video, along with surveillance video, to capture license plate numbers, which led them to the driver’s licenses of each of the men accused, according to court documents.

A manager of the Ikea, located in the 7800 block of Katy Freeway, told police the event left behind a lot of damage to the parking lot.

“The [manager] informed [the officer] that the damage to the parking lot is estimated to be $46,000 to repair,” according to court documents.

Investigators accused Nash of recording and promoting the event online. They accused Turrubaite of being behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang seen in the video. Both Smith and Fontenette, according to court documents, were driving a Dodge Charger seen in the video.


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Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. NOLA born and bred, though #HoustonStrong, with stops in Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in along the way.