Multiple street racing incidents were reported to Dallas police on Sunday night and throughout the weekend.
According to Dallas police, disturbances were reported at Live Oak Street and Skillman Street, Cole Avenue and Lemmon Avenue, I-35 and Royal Lane and the 9100 block of South Link, where one participant died from a racing-related accident.
In the incidents, some set off fireworks while cars performed stunts. Police said they believe the violators were from the north Texas region and had no known affiliation with one another.
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Officers rushed to the scene at about 11 p.m.
Police said officers were also called to the parking garage at Klyde Warren Park and the intersection on Interstate 35 and Royal Lane in response to street racing gatherings.
The street racers shut down intersections while multiple vehicles did donuts.
“It was just like I was in a movie,” said Dallas resident Jeff Auvenshine. “It was terrifying. I was like what have I gotten myself into because there was not way to back up.”
Auvenshine was on his way home after buying groceries when he was caught in the chaos.
He recorded video showing so-called street racers forcing the intersection of Live Oak Street and Skillman Street in Lakewood closed.
Two males are seen on Auvenshine’s video riding on the hood of a moving car as a fire truck and ambulance try to get through to disperse the crowd.
“Clearly these people are all together,” he said. “They’re not wearing masks. Just complete disregard for any kind of civil obedience that needs to be in place.”
Dallas police say they issued 224 citations, made 115 traffic stops and received 114 calls over the weekend related to racing or stunts, 24 citations were issued at the Live Oak, Skillman incident alone.
Officers made two felony arrests, seized 20 grams of marijuana as well, according to DPD.
Police and Dallas City Council Members have spoken out about these street racing gatherings for years.
“I was disgusted and disappointed to be honest with you. I wish that these people would fully understand the dangers that they’re putting themselves and others in with this reckless behavior," said Jaimie Resendez, Dallas city council member for District 5. "It’s dangerous if we as a city allow this type of behavior to thrive unhindered."
He said he believes the coronavirus crisis is causing an uptick in the street gatherings in just the last two months.
"It seems like these people are taking advantage of these empty streets," he said. "The streets are empty here, parking lots are empty or with businesses being closed. So I feel like people are like, 'Hey, this is the perfect time for me to act this way.'"
All too familiar with street racing in Pleasant Grove, Resendez tells NBC 5 the council continues to work on a city ordinance that targets spectators of street racing, punishing them with fines, jail time or possibly seizing their vehicle.
"If you’re out there watching this type of activity, then you’re just as culpable," he said.
Unfortunately, the pandemic put that ordinance and other city business on hold but Resendez said the committee meetings should resume in May.
"This is extremely frustrating because city leaders already have so much to worry about during these times," he said. "And folks doing these things is only adding to what’s already on peoples plates."
Dallas Police said they plan to make a presentation on the ordinance at the next public safety committee meeting on May 11.