Two cars appeared to hit multiple revelers over the course of an hour late Saturday as a crowd gathered to watch those vehicles and others intentionally spin through a downtown Seattle intersection.
In the first crash, video shared by Cole Miller of KOMO TV on Twitter around 11:30 p.m. shows a red Mustang spinning through an opening in the intersection near the Space Needle before the car’s back bumper clears through a portion of the crowd.
Later, another red vehicle spinning doughnuts hits a man in a black sweatshirt who is thrown to the ground.
Despite the shocking scenes, Seattle police say no active investigation is currently underway, and no one who was hit has reported being a victim of the crashes.
Police spokesperson Detective Patrick Michaud said these organized “stunt shows,” in which muscle car drivers screech through tight doughnuts or race each other, are “an ongoing issue” and have occurred within the city near CenturyLink Field as well as Seattle Center and also in Kent and south of King County.
Several people fell to the ground after being hit by the Mustang as others ran to help them, and the Mustang rolled to a stop.
The man who was hit in the second crash appears to be lifting himself from the ground with the help of others before the video cuts out.
Other vehicles on Saturday also spun through the intersection repeatedly, revving engines and leaving skid marks.
Michaud said approach roads were blocked by cars gathered for the stunt show so that police were delayed getting to the scene and no arrests were made. Michaud added that the intense pressure on the police from the demonstration in Capitol Hill also played a role in the delayed response.
“We have to dedicate a large amount of resources to the protests every day,” Michaud said. “It puts a strain on our ability to respond to things like the street racing.”
He said by the time police reached the scene where the cars had been spinning, some of the crowd of spectators remained but the cars involved were gone. The crowd eventually dispersed when the police called for them to leave the area.
Michaud said Seattle Police arrested a couple of drivers involved in a similar event at CenturyLink Field some months ago and that his department has been sharing information with other local and regional law enforcement agencies to try to crack down on the practice.
In a short press conference Sunday afternoon, Seattle Police Interim Chief Adrian Diaz called the illegal car racing and street shows “a regional issue” that has to stop.
He said police are “reviewing all aspects of the criminal law” to see what charges may be brought.
Diaz said the organizers of these shows and the participating drivers can be charged with reckless endangerment but also potentially some in the crowd could be charged with rendering criminal assistance.