A street takeover closed the intersection of Beverly and Larchmont boulevards on March 3 after a large crowd spontaneously gathered to watch cars doing doughnuts and dangerous stunts. The crowd rapidly dispersed when a police helicopter arrived, followed by officers in patrol cars.
Lt. Mark Ro, with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Wilshire Division, said police received multiple 911 calls when the crowd showed up around 10:45 p.m. and the drivers began performing stunts in the intersection. The crowd size was estimated to be between 100-200 people, he said.
An LAPD helicopter arrived first and began circling over the area, at which time the group rapidly dispersed. Ro said the vehicles headed in multiple directions to elude patrol units. The entire incident occurred within 15 minutes, he said.
The police helicopter followed one of the vehicles and the driver stopped a short distance away and fled on foot, Ro added. Officers were unable to locate the driver, and impounded the vehicle, an Infiniti G37. An investigation is underway to determine who was behind the wheel.
“The [vehicles] are placed on an automatic 30-day hold, which is a nice deterrent,” Ro said. “With this one, we got a call and the owner tried to claim it. She told us her son was driving the car, but we don’t know who the son is. West Traffic Division will be doing the follow-up.”
Ro said no injuries were reported and no arrests were made. He did not know why the intersection was selected for a street takeover, and said no similar incidents were reported in the area on March 3. Police had no prior information a street takeover was planned at the site.
Organizers of street takeovers share information on social media and spontaneously gather at locations throughout the city, he added. The LAPD monitors social media and officers attempt to identify when people are planning a street takeover, but they are difficult to predict, he said.
“There is a hidden nature about it. They don’t announce them ahead of time because they know we are watching,” Ro added. “Even then, there is word of mouth and they know where to organize.”
Ro said street takeovers present a danger to those watching in the crowd and pedestrians and drivers who happen to be in the area. They also require police to deploy officers that otherwise would be patrolling neighborhoods and responding to calls for service. People who see a street takeover are urged to call 911.
“It ties us up when they do it,” Ro added. “The potential danger speaks for itself.”
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