Man arrested in 147 mph Loop 101 violation
By Mark Ryan, Tribune
June 2, 2006
Some records are meant to be broken, but Scottsdale police aren’t happy with one that has been shattered by someone they described as “a very dangerous driver.”
The new speed record clocked last month by photo enforcement cameras along Loop 101 in Scottsdale — at 147 mph — is 16 mph more than the one set by an unknown motorcyclist on Feb. 14.
Lawrence Pargo, 26, of Goodyear was arrested by Scottsdale police at his home May 26 on suspicion of four counts of excessive speeding, reckless driving and endangerment, Scottsdale police Lt. Frank O’Halloran said.
Pargo was clocked and photographed in a silver Hyundai Sonata traveling at speeds ranging from 102 mph to 147 mph on four occasions between 5:47 and 6:20 a.m. May 21.
“He endangered the lives of others as well as himself,” O’Halloran said. “The car was beyond its capabilities, and he was beyond his capabilities of controlling it. The tires aren’t rated for 147 mph. They’re stock tires on a rental car. The car probably was shaking.”
The controversial speed enforcement program includes six cameras along a 7.8-mile stretch of Loop 101 between Scottsdale Road and Shea Boulevard. A proposed bill in the state Legislature that could ban speed cameras from state highways still is being discussed.
Arresting the worst offenders has been a top priority for the city as part of an effort to send a message to motorists along Loop 101 in Scottsdale, where drivers frequently exceed 100 mph.
Police also have arrested Darren Sucato, 27, of Scottsdale — who had paid four previous speeding violations — on suspicion of excessive speeding, reckless driving and endangerment, O’Halloran said. Sucato was clocked and photographed at 107 mph in his 2005 silver Pontiac Grand Prix at 11:02 p.m. May 23, according to O’Halloran.
The Hyundai that Pargo was driving was either leased or rented. It is owned by P.V. Holding in Virginia Beach, Va., O’Halloran said.
Pargo couldn’t be reached for comment.
Gauging by the e-mails sent from O’Halloran to other officers, Pargo’s arrest was a top priority.
“Please put your best guys on this one and let’s get him this week,” O’Halloran said in an e-mail to officer James Butera on May 22.
If convicted on all counts, Pargo could receive 12 points on his driver’s license — it takes eight points to get a license suspended — and he’ll be placed on a high-risk list among rental car agencies, O’Halloran said.
Tickets start at $157, but each of Pargo’s speeding tickets could cost $200 or more.
“There is no doubt that it is the same car and driver in all four incidents,” Bruce Kalin, the contract administrator for Scottsdale police who is overseeing the program, said in an e-mail.
There were 30,169 speeders clocked at 76 mph or more on Loop 101 during the warning phase of the photo enforcement program between Jan. 22 and Feb. 21. The number of speeders dipped nearly 30 percent the next month, when citations began.
However, in the last two months, the number of speeders has increased to nearly what it was during the warning phase, according to information from the city.
Contact Mark Ryan by telephone at () -