Dumb Speeding Criminal Decides To Post Manhattan Speed Run Video Online

from the not-going-to-end-well dept

Ray Kelly is the NYPD Commissioner with a heart of gold and a severe case of the flip-flops when it comes to how security technology in his city is used. The potential DHS chief candidate is a huge fan of the complete failure known as "stop and frisk", as well as all the cameras and license plate readers the city has at its disposal, except when that technology is turned towards his officers. It's classic Orwellian thinking, in which LEOs and the government get all the toys while you have to find the blind spots in all the cameras just to write in your journal. That journal these days meaning the internet, which of course doesn't really offer any blind spots.

And that's how we get headlines today about Ray Kelly apparently declaring war on someone going by the handle AfroDuck, which is exactly the comic relief the world needs right now. Who is AfroDuck, you ask? Well, he or she is an idiot who decided to circumnavigate Manhattan, a twenty-six-plus mile trip, in just twenty-four minutes. Then, because idiocy and internet-braggery go hand in hand like spaghetti and meatballs, AfroDuck uploaded a dash-cam video of the feat to the internet.
The anonymous speed demon averaged about 66 mph during the late-night circuit, which was captured on a dramatic dashboard-cam video and posted to YouTube under the username AfroDuckProduction. The drive breaks the previous mark of 26 minutes set in 2010. In both runs, the drivers cut out the top of Manhattan above the Cross Bronx Expressway.
So, let's make this clear up front: this was a stupid thing to do. And, no, I'm not going to listen to anyone tell me about how a good driver can do this safely, or how over-protective we've become as a society. Shut up, you're wrong. This is Manhattan and you shouldn't be making speed runs, period, paragraph, full stop. And, while AfroDuck is getting the headlines for this, it should be noted that this isn't a particularly new concept. A few years ago, Wired covered a driver who was trying to break the cross-country driving record, noting that earlier on, he'd been focused on doing a similar speed shot around Manhattan.

Having said that, AfroDuck may have a serious problem.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly promised to hunt down the dangerous driver, saying, “We now have license-plate readers in the city that will assist in this type of investigation.”
Other reports have officers stating that Ray Kelly has "declared war on AfroDuck" and plans on using all of that shiny awesome tech at his disposal to go after the speed demon. And, if their willingness to use stop and frisk as a law enforcement technique is any indication, I doubt the NYPD will mind terribly utilizing all of those license plate cameras to build at least a reckless driving case against him.
“You frankly can’t identify who I am by just looking at the video,” AfroDuck boasted to the car-geek Web site Jalopnik about his Aug. 26 ride, “and records were meant to be broken.” AfroDuck used a 2006 BMW Z4 for the breakneck drive.
That may be, but the NYPD likely can review all the cameras they have to find the license plate of the Z4 that was barreling through Manhattan sometime in the past few weeks and that plate will point them back to AfroDuck. As I said, this driver is an idiot, but it might be new territory to have the chief of police going after an individual simply for bragging online about a speed run and then using all kinds of new technology to do it. It's a brave new surveillance state world, friends, which means you just can't brag about your dumb crimes online anymore.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    TheResidentSkeptic (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    How to defeat license plate cameras

    1) get a screwdriver.

    2) remove license plate(s).

    3) place cardboard sign in window "Lost Plates" (optional)

    4) run the circuit.

    5) replace license plate(s).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 4:53pm

    Where were all his cops and cameras that no one noticed this guy speeding and driving like that?
    If his car was black he would have been pulled over for a stop and frisk anyways, I guess.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 4:54pm

    So the driver was able to speed around Manhattan for 24 minutes without getting caught, then post the adventure on the internet, and still hasn't been identified or caught. And you're calling him stupid?!
    "We now have license plate readers in the city that will assist in this type of investigation". And yet they still haven't found him?
    I wonder if this AfroDuck is a cop.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    arcan, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    I blame video games. Clearly this guy was playing need for speed right before this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 5:12pm

    Re:

    I blame speedrunning. It inspired this guy to sequence break traffic laws.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Atkray (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 5:13pm

    Even if they trace the vehicle they still need to prove who was driving. Unless a license plate = an IP address

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    So what was the speed limit of the roads he was driving on? 66 mph his pretty damn ho-hum for a highway where the speed limit is 55 mph, and people routinely go 70+ if traffic is light.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 5:54pm

    Too preachy

    I usually like Tim's posts, but when you get preachy, it's just disappointing.

     

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  9.  
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    JMT (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 6:09pm

    Re:

    No, you'd use GTA4 to practice for this!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    arcan, Sep 4th, 2013 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Re:

    he didn't run over enough pedestrians...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 6:46pm

    Re: Too preachy

    And, lo, I say unto you: thou shalt not criticize my writing style, jerk!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    Manabi (profile), Sep 4th, 2013 @ 9:28pm

    Re:

    Well since he's posted the video and said he did the speed run, that probably wouldn't be much of a problem. They'll just use his online posts/brags against him to prove it was really him in the car.

     

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  13.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 2:24am

    Re:

    I wonder if this AfroDuck is a cop.

    on past evidence you're probably right and he'll probably get away with it!

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/shropshire/4559173.stm

     

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  14. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    icon
    malika015 (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Re: How to defeat license plate cameras

    my best friends dad got an awesome red Subaru BRZ by working parttime from the internet... you could try these out > ---- jobs59.ℂOM

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Howard, Cowering, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 4:21am

    Re: Re: Too preachy #11

    Or, you could simply note that s/he (AC#8) uses third person in the first phrase, second person in the next and misuses a comma (after "posts") where a semicolon would better convey the apparent purpose of the initial phrase.

    Not that I'm criticizing, mind you...

     

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  16.  
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    *|EFU|* 50kBTU (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 5:03am

    Re:

    License plates are registered to people. Car owner = responsible, unless reported as stolen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Richard (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re:

    Not strictly true.

    Firstly ownership, being the registered keeper and being the insured driver are three different things.

    Secondly they still do have to establish who was driving. They can put on a lot of pressure BUT - if the registered keeper/ insured driver says X was driving and X says no I wasn't the keeper was" then they will have to try and prove who was lying.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re:

    R U a lawyer?

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 6:06am

    Ray Kelly is quite positive the video was not tampered with in order to make it appear as though some sort of record speed was accomplished.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    jt, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 7:20am

    Banhammer

    Considering the common practice of authorities attempting to ban the technology foolishly used to boast about the crime, I suppose we should be grateful that Kelly isn't attempting to ban private ownership of dash cams or attacking the site where the video was posted.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 7:40am

    Re: How to defeat license plate cameras

    No need for security cameras.
    1, Request user info from website.
    2, Contact ISP,
    3, Go to house and arrest culpret, endangering safty.


    Sure there are ways to post anon, But you have to be a tech whiz to do that, And even with the best tech whiz, there is always a way to trace it back to the original poster. People who post this stuff are complete idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 7:45am

    Re: Banhammer

    I had already commented on the story, but I thought I would give a very loud, SO TRUE, to the poster of this comment..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 7:58am

    Shut up, you're wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    dniq, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    Large stretches of the roads around Manhattan have 50mph speed limit, but larger yet are 35-50mph. The Wast Side below 60th streets also have a lot of traffic lights. And about half, if not more, of the FDR is all bumps and potholes, with the speed limit of 40mph, and even at that speed it's not always safe to drive (hell, some parts of FDR are not safe to even walk on!).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Sep 5th, 2013 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re: How to defeat license plate cameras

    Sure there are ways to post anon, But you have to be a tech whiz to do that


    No, you really don't. It's easy to post things anonymously enough so that local cops won't track you down.

    However, you're right, people who do this (make a speed run) are idiots. People who post the video of it are bigger idiots. Even worse, they're complete assholes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Quote:
    Police Commissioner Ray Kelly promised to hunt down the dangerous driver, saying, “We now have license-plate readers in the city that will assist in this type of investigation.”


    The public have bright infrared lights to hide the plates.
    Just saying.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 10:21am

    Why are there no autobahns in the US so the daredevils can have a place to do their thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Sep 5th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    You know, if I were going to do something like that, I'd print up a fake license plate first and cover up my real one. That way the car looks legal to the casual viewer, but comes up unknown when they run the photos from the cameras.

    With a 3D printer, you could even make an embossed one and then print the area around the letters/numbers on a conventional printer.

    Uh-oh! Coming soon: DRM to prevent you from printing license plates in a 3D printer!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    btr1701, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 11:26am

    Re: How to defeat license plate cameras

    No kidding. If you're already emarking on an illegal stunt, removing or obscuring your license tags before the run and putting them back on after is hardly a line too far.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Sep 6th, 2013 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re:

    > License plates are registered to people.
    > Car owner = responsible, unless reported as
    > stolen.

    Not true at all, especially when criminal charges (reckless driving) are being considered as they are here. Some admiinistrative penalties can be applied to the registered owner regardless of who was driving, but for a criminal case, the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the person charged committed the act in question. That's basic constitutional law, and no state's DMV regs trump the Constitution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Sep 6th, 2013 @ 11:37am

    Re:

    > With a 3D printer, you could even make an
    > embossed one and then print the area around
    > the letters/numbers on a conventional printer.

    Or just take a set off some parked car, put them on your car, make the run, then switch the tags back again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    another mike (profile), Sep 6th, 2013 @ 12:16pm

    Re:

    The Sports Car Club of America has chapters all over the country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re:

    Thank you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, but then you run the risk of the owner of the car that you took the plates from, noticing and reporting them stolen. True, it would hide your identity from the cameras, but then you might get pulled over on your way back to return the plates.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 7th, 2013 @ 1:23am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Sep 4th, 2013 @ 5:34pm

    Hah, yeah this article confused me a bit. Mainly because if I were to do a speed run in a loop around my city at that speed, it would actually be mostly legal. Probably for about 80% of the trip, minimum, maybe the while thing depending on what metric you were using to define city limits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Sep 7th, 2013 @ 2:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    > Yes, but then you run the risk of the owner of the car that you
    > took the plates from, noticing and reporting them stolen.

    Well, presumably this speed run would be performed in the wee hours of the night, otherwise traffic in Manhattan would make it impossible to break the record. Given the time of night, the odds that the owner of whichever parked car you switch tags with would wake up, decide to go for a walk outside, and notice his tags are different, during the hour or so they're switched, are vanishingly slim.

    > True, it would hide your identity from the cameras, but then you
    > might get pulled over on your way back to return the plates.

    You also might get pulled over with 3d-printed tags on the way home, too. If you're pulled over, you'll be screwed either way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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