Philadelphia street takeover puts hundreds in danger as drivers shoot donuts and police stand helpless
- Shocking video shows street takeover causing chaos at same busy intersection for second time in three months
- Bystanders ran for their lives as cars spun out of control just meters away.
- Locals warn people will die if the fad is not eradicated
Dismayed onlookers could only stand and watch as the latest street takeover wreaked havoc across South Philadelphia in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Nearby residents were awakened by the roar of engines and screeching tires as hundreds of youths turned a major intersection into a death trap.
But there was little visible response from police who made no arrests in the weekend event where six people were killed in shootings across the city.
“I saw the police right there and at one point they came and tried to clear the intersection, but it was dangerous for them to even walk towards it,” said Rhonda Walker, a witness who filmed chaos from his neighboring apartment.
Regular traffic was blocked as the intersection of Broad Street and Washington Avenue was taken over for the second time in three months at 2:30 a.m.
Passengers hung out of windows as cars sped around at high speed, spewing clouds of noxious smoke.
Rhonda Walker, who filmed the scenes from her nearby apartment, said it was the second time in three months that her intersection had been targeted.
Footage shows a gathering of large cars spewing thick clouds of tire smoke as they turn at high speed, dispersing hundreds of young people crowded into the intersection’s central square.
“They were doing donuts, they were taking turns, there were kids hanging out in the car windows,” Walker told CBS.
“And the scariest part of one of the videos I shot was a green car that did so many donuts that it went out of control and almost drove into Target.”
“And the whole crowd was like repulsed.”
The video even shows reckless young people facing tragedy as they film the cars from inside their turning circle.
Street buyouts have grown in popularity since the pandemic, with some attributing influence from the Fast and Furious film franchise.
The Los Angeles Police Department recorded a record 7,654 stopovers in 2021, but the phenomenon has spread across the country with at least eight confirmed deaths.
Hundreds of excited young people urged drivers to continue despite the danger to themselves
Regular traffic remained blocked as rogue drivers took over the intersection.
And police were also left out as the street takeover turned the intersection into a death trap.
Residents living nearby were awakened at 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning by the chaos.
Few regular drivers were willing to take their chances at the intersection while the illegal event was taking place.
Tire tracks still littered the dilapidated intersection the next morning
Walker had filmed a similar event at the same location three months earlier.
Three weeks ago, a 20-year-old pickup driver mowed down several pedestrians while fleeing police in Georgia after taking part in an illegal street performance and eating donuts at a busy Atlanta intersection.
Last week, Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly Mitchell said that “just crossing the street, coming home from work and the grocery store” had become dangerous because of the frequency of takeovers in the street.
Philadelphia police were also called to deal with a separate takeover at Frankford and Cottman avenues in Mayfair, while the rival event was taking place on the city’s South Side.
“There’s a fire station near here, an ambulance. Maybe someone is dying and they can’t get to the hospital because these kids are acting like idiots ” one resident told ABC6.
“If you don’t punish the behavior, you just reinforce it,” he added.
“I honestly believe the longer this continues, the more violent it will become.” People are going to die.
A spokesperson for the city’s Democratic Mayor, Jim Kenney, said: “Car rallies are disruptive, reckless and often dangerous, which is why the Police Department has assembled teams of dedicated officers to monitor and manage these events.
Dailymail.com has contacted the Philadelphia Police Department.