Six-Month Investigation Leads To Five Men Charged In Illegal Street Racing

January 29, 2021 Updated: January 29, 2021

IRVINE—An investigation into illegal street racing in Irvine led to the arrests of five men accused of planning and taking part in multiple street races last year, authorities announced Jan. 28.

The six-month investigation focused on racing occurring on the 241 and 261 Toll Roads, which wind along Irvine’s borders and connect near the mountainous Irvine Regional Park.

The men, who were arrested Jan. 26, are accused of meeting to discuss and participate in multiple illegal races between January and May 2020, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and Irvine Police Department.

“Orange County roads are not raceways designed to accommodate illegal street races of speeds reaching 160 miles per hour,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in a press release.

“Street racing is irresponsible, it’s dangerous and it shows a complete disregard for the lives of everyone involved including the participants, the spectators and the innocent bystanders.”

Authorities allege three of the men posted videos of the races to their YouTube channels: Rushdan Mohammad Abdallah, 26, of Lake Forest; 25-year-old Aaron Hamed Waseeq, of La Verne; and 21-year-old Daniel Joaquin Rodriguez, also of La Verne.

Abdallah’s channel “has hundreds of thousands of followers with the videos regularly attracting millions of views,” authorities said. “Videos on his channel also show him soliciting viewers to provide him with other street racing competitors.”

Officials also allege Abdallah, who is accused of meeting with other drivers six times in 2020 to discuss and take part in illegal races, was out on bail from a 2019 arrest while he coordinated some of the illegal events.

All five men face at least one count of conspiracy to commit the crime of engaging in a speed contest, engaging in a speed contest and reckless driving, according to Kimberly Edds, the public information officer for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

Four of the five were also accused of speeding more than 100 miles per hour (mph), Edds said.

Abdallah faces six felony counts of conspiracy to engage in a speed contest, six misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest, six misdemeanor counts of reckless driving and four infractions for speeding in excess of 100 mph.

Waseeq was charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to engage in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, one misdemeanor count of aiding and abetting a speed contest and one infraction for speeding in excess of 100 mph.

He is accused of meeting with and discussing the races with others, then taking part in multiple races on the toll roads. He was also the passenger in a vehicle during one race, leading to the aiding and abetting charge, Edds said.

Rodriguez was charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to engage in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, one misdemeanor count of aiding and abetting a speed contest and one infraction for speeding in excess of 100 mph, Edds said. He is accused of meeting and taking part in multiple
illegal races, as well as being the passenger in a vehicle during one event, according to Edds.

Sean Lozai Stuart, 36, of Irvine is facing one felony count of conspiracy to engage in a speed contest, one misdemeanor count of engaging in a speed contest, one misdemeanor count of reckless driving and one infraction for speeding in excess of 100 mph, Edds said.

Saeid Assim Lachin, 27, of Fullerton, was charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to commit the crime of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of engaging in a speed contest, two misdemeanor counts of reckless driving, and two misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended license.

“No one driving on our roads should suddenly find themselves in the middle of what equates to a NASCAR race being raced by amateurs who are not trained or skilled enough to drive vehicles being pushed to their mechanical limits,” Spitzer said.

“These crimes will be prosecuted and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”