TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) – Tempe police broke up a large rally Saturday night in a parking lot that involved about 500 vehicles and 1,000 people. An officer saw the gathering while patrolling where loops 101 and 202 meet.
“This is not new to the Valley, so it automatically recognizes this as a gathering of cars and potential street racing-type activity,” said Detective Natalie Barela of the Tempe Police Department. “The officer was able to park his patrol vehicle to block some incoming and outgoing traffic. At that time, he began to observe vehicles revving their engines, starting to spin. »
Other officers arrived and they were able to use a drone to get an aerial overview of the situation.
“It just gives us an overhead view of what we’re dealing with, to identify resources we might need, obviously Tempe Fire and Medical have been called in. It was a lot of people, creates a fire hazard, and it’s just another resource to tell us what we needed,” Barela said. “Having that aerial view really allows officers to identify exit points, entry points and the amount of cars we had there.”
Barela said the event organizer cooperated with police and admitted to being there without permission or a permit. Rallies, or “takeovers,” like this are becoming more common in the Valley, and they often go hand-in-hand with street racing. Phoenix police launched a task force to combat this type of activity and assisted Tempe police Saturday night.
Barela says they want the organizers of these events to understand the dangers behind them. “When you watch a high rate of speed, donuts, you can easily lose control of that vehicle. You lose control of that vehicle and someone is filming, standing outside the vehicle filming with their phone laptop, all of a sudden you can have a fatal collision,” Barela said.
The organizer received a criminal citation. Tempe police said several other people were given trespassing notices. A food vendor also received a warning for not having the proper permits.
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