LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – More than a hundred people doing donuts, burnouts and drag racing forced Little Rock Police to shut down part of a city street Sunday to disperse the crowd.
The racing happened at several locations, including a parking lot at University and Asher Avenues, off Colonel Glenn, and a parking lot off Frazier Pike.
Police say several people received warnings and at least one person was cited for doing a donut in front of officers.
Multiple videos of the illegal and reckless driving are being shared on social media.
“As soon as I got here I could see a lot of people,” said Pastor Lawrence Hicks, whose church parking lot was one of the spots used. “There were some drag races going on up and down the street and police were just responding.”
Hicks says the Mosaic Church parking lot has become a well-known spot for this dangerous driving, but the crowd on Sunday was the most he’s ever seen.
He believes the issue is getting more attention now, because of the pandemic and the mandate to keep gatherings to 10 people or less.
“They were compromising their safety, the safety of others,” Hicks added.
The church also runs the Vine and Village food bank, which the church says should be the only reason the parking lot is full of cars during the pandemic.
“We had 200 people in line waiting for curbside service,” explained Executive Director Paul Kroger.
Kroger is asking the drivers to instead, park and come help out.
“It detracts from our ultimate goal here which is to love and serve people. Come volunteer with us, come engage with us,” Kroger said.
The church estimates damage to its parking lot to cost nearly $40,000 in repairs.
Mayor Frank Scott Junior condemned the driving saying he’s, “disappointed and disturbed.”
Mayor Frank Scott, Jr.’s full Statement on Weekend Incidents:
“I am deeply disturbed and disappointed at the actions that occurred in our city over the weekend. Let me make this plain and clear-COVID-19 is not a game. Unfortunately, we are seeing too many people treat this deadly virus as if it is. Gatherings of ten or more are prohibited when at least six feet distance cannot be maintained; this is a directive from the governor. We saw enormous crowds yesterday of people gathering on Asher Avenue/Colonel Glenn Road and in parking lots. Our parks and trails are also experiencing increased groups of people. Please do not gather in groups of ten or more.
“The next two weeks will be critical to continuing to slow the spread of COVID-19. Little Rock has and will continue to lead by example and do everything within our power to protect the lives of our residents, health care workers, and first responders. We are doing all we can to be creative and respect the state’s commerce restriction in the governor’s state of emergency order, which prohibits local governments from creating shelter-in-place orders. Therefore we will ramp up our current efforts to ensure the health and safety of our residents. If you are loitering in groups of ten or more, you will be fined to the maximum extent of the law. In addition, I am issuing an executive order to prohibit caravanning, also to carry a maximum fine allowed by law.
“Let me reiterate that this is a deadly virus. Not only are you potentially exposing yourself to harm, you may be exposing your loved ones as well.”