An officer was injured during an out-of-control street race takeover in Austin, Texas, and several spectators were set on fire.
Several 911 calls were received around 9 p.m. Saturday about cars and crowds causing havoc by blocking an intersection, setting off firecrackers, and street racing in the downtown area. Austin Police Department.
The unruly crowd began throwing firecrackers, bottles, rocks and pointed lasers at the responding officers, damaging several police vehicles.
According to the department, “one officer suffered a non-life-threatening injury, was treated at a local hospital, and was released.”
The police have arrested two people for evading arrest and are probing the matter.
“APD is committed to stopping this conduct. Breaking the law in this way will result in enforcement and arrest. The safety of our community is the #1 priority for APD the department wrote on Twitter.
In a video posted on social media of the lawless takeover, a pickup truck was seen passing through a fire while doing donuts at an intersection.
As the truck went up in flames on the ground, a small explosion spread the fire towards the crowd of people, who were briefly engulfed in flames.
In the video, several people can be seen on fire as they strip off their clothes and run for safety, while others attempt to pat them while they are still cheering and laughing.
His terms are unknown.
In another video posted on Twitter, a massive crowd began to push back a police cruiser, slamming on the hood of the vehicle, disregarding the flashing emergency lights and sirens.
The disorder did not end until about two in the morning, after the crowd had dispersed.
Local council member Alison Alter expressed her displeasure over the incident, saying she was put on hold at 911 for 28 minutes after attempting to call to report the takeover. Austin American-Statesman,
Staff shortages for 911 operators have been an issue in Austin, with the average hold time for calls at two and a half minutes, according to an Oct. Fox News report.
Austin Police Association took social mediaBlaming lawmakers in Austin who “failed to make the right decisions and continue to defame, destroy and undermine public safety.”
Other Texas lawmakers, who saw the chaos on social media, began calling for solutions to stop these dangerous takeovers.
“God bless our brave men and women in blue! Especially those working in cities where they are undervalued, underpaid and under assault like Austin,” said State Representative Jeff leeches Wrote on Twitter.
“We must come together as a community to figure out how to prevent this from happening again, how to keep our community safe, and how to enable our law enforcement to respond quickly and effectively. ” Representative Vicky Goodwin Wrote on Twitter about the takeover.
Takeovers typically involve hundreds of people and many cars gathering in an unauthorized area such as an intersection or an interstate and blocking traffic while performing dangerous and chaotic stunts and activities.