Police Cite Motorists at Large in Illegal East Long Beach Car Meetup Celebrating Late Actor Paul Walker's Birthday

WalkerBurnout2

YouTube screenshot of an unpermitted car meetup at a Target parking lot in East Long Beach Saturday night. 

Officers from the Long Beach Police Department and California Highway Patrol handed out numerous traffic-related citations Saturday night to participants of an unpermitted car meet-up in East Long Beach celebrating what would have been the 42nd birthday of the late Fast and Furious actor and car enthusiast Paul Walker.

Long Beach police originally responded to a commercial parking lot near Bellflower Boulevard and Spring Street at 7:13PM on Saturday, September 12, to reports of numerous street racing vehicles and a large crowd gathering, LBPD spokeswoman Nancy Pratt said.

According to Pratt, numerous residents reported severe traffic congestion and cars driving recklessly through the surrounding neighborhoods.

Officers at the scene learned the gathering was an unpermitted car club event advertised via social media, she said.

Officials estimated a crowd of about 3,000 to 5,000 people were gathered at the site.

Authorities believe all 1,600 parking spaces in that parking lot were full, with more cars connected to the meetup believed to be parked in surrounding neighborhoods, according to Pratt.

Long Beach officers from other divisions and officers with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) were called to help clear the traffic and crowd as well, officials said.

The crowd eventually dispersed after several orders from police, according to authorities, but then moved to a Target parking lot on the 2200 block of Bellflower Boulevard.

Motorists were seen burning out at the second location, as seen via footage uploaded to YouTube on Monday.

Police once again gave dispersal orders, with the crowd eventually clearing the area by about 12:15AM Sunday, September 13.

During the dispersal orders a bottle was thrown from the crowd, striking and damaging a police vehicle, Pratt said.

An exact number of the numerous traffic-related citations issued was not available by LBPD officials.

No arrests were made and there were no reports of injuries, according to Pratt.

Police filed a report documenting the incident—which is under investigation with the assistance of other city departments and the city prosecutor’s office.

WalkerMeetUp

YouTube screenshot of an unpermitted car meetup at a Target parking lot in East Long Beach Saturday night.



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