A street race got out of control in Austin, Texas, resulting in several spectators catching fire and injuring a police officer. The Austin Police Department said in a statement that the incident occurred at 9 p.m. (local time) on Saturday after police received a series of 911 calls. Police charged cars and the crowd with blocking an intersection, setting off fireworks, and racing across the street. When the policemen on duty responded, the mob started hurling crackers, bottles and stones at them.
The police statement said the crowd dispersed and officers cleared the intersection at 9:46 p.m. But about 45 minutes later, an officer at North Interstate 35 Service Road/East Anderson reported that the car club was at the location.
“Several vehicles started driving recklessly, blocking intersections and driving in circles in defiance of traffic laws. The crowd was again dispersed by the officers,” the statement said.
With police engaged in dispersing the crowd at 1.56 am, reports of more such incidents continued to pour in from various areas.
“During these incidents, the crowd threw rocks and bottles at officers and pointed lasers. One officer suffered a non-life-threatening injury, was treated at a local hospital, and was released. Rocks and bottles were thrown at the patrol were thrown at vehicles causing damage. Two people were arrested for evading arrest. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and further charges may be filed,” the statement said.
In a video of the street race, also called Takeover, posted on Instagram, a pickup truck can be seen passing through a fire while doing donuts at an intersection.
The truck is seen passing over the flames on the ground, and a few seconds later, a small explosion sends the flames towards the crowd. Some people came under fire in the incident.
Some of them are seen taking off their clothes and running for safety, while others can be heard cheering and laughing.
Another video on Twitter shows a police vehicle backing away from a huge crowd while a man sets off fireworks that explode on the hood of the car.
Chaos in Barton Springs and Lamar #Austin, Rioters push back police and throw fireworks at them after crowd drifts @KXAN_Newspic.twitter.com/FVMlK2S3eH
— Aaron Crews (@aaroncrews) February 19, 2023
Street races, also known as takeovers, involve hundreds of cars gathering at an intersection or highway and blocking traffic while performing dangerous stunts.
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