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Chaos on the Streets: Police respond to illegal car meet-ups in Baltimore City and Baltimore County

Police break up several 'unsanctioned car meet-ups' across Baltimore City, Baltimore County
Police break up several 'unsanctioned car meet-ups' across Baltimore City, Baltimore County 03:37

BALTIMORE - The engines were revving and dozens of spectators were watching cars spinning fast in circles along Mill Run Circle in Owings Mills, at Ingleside Avenue and Security Boulevard in Woodlawn and on Commerce Drive in Halethorpe. 

Police responded to and broke up the three "unsanctioned car meet-ups." 

The incidents all unfolded late Saturday night into Sunday morning.

"Officers were able to go out to these areas and disperse these individuals without incident, and no arrests have been made at this time," Baltimore County Detective Trae Corbin told WJZ. 

The Woodlawn incident stunned those stuck in the massive traffic jam and even included fireworks at the end from a video posted to TikTok.

"This remains a regional issue across the state and every time we receive a call, we will respond. …We are looking to try and ascertain the individuals responsible for the car meet-ups to see if we can seek out legal action," Corbin said. 

Similar incidents have been happening for years despite various crackdowns

Over the weekend, there was at least one car meet-up in Baltimore City.

In videos posted to X, formerly known as Twitter, cars did donuts at Druid Park Drive and Reisterstown Road in West Baltimore. 

One video appears to show drivers continuing despite a visible police presence.

"That's what we're trying to investigate now to see if this was the same group or just multiple little groups forming up to have these unsanctioned events," Corbin said. 

City police said they were able to disperse the crowd but made no arrests and there were no injuries.

Baltimore City has some of the stiffest penalties in the state. 'Active participants' in races and illegal meet-ups face a maximum of one year behind bars and up to a $1,000 fine.

WJZ reported on several car meet-ups in Baltimore in August and spoke to councilman Yitzy Schleifer who pushed for the tougher penalties.

He said other incidents led to safety concerns last year. 

"They were blocking intersections leading up to the hospital in my district, so I've seen ambulances get stuck behind these car clubs because they shut down the intersection, and then you end up getting stuck, so it really is a hazard for our ambulances and other emergency personnel to not be able to move freely through the city," Schleifer said. 

The illegal races have been a problem in the city before, including last year in Hampden and downtown near police headquarters. 

Police and some neighbors said the close-in crowds watching high-speed antics are a recipe for disaster.

"Any time something like this happens it's too much in Baltimore County," Detective Corbin said. 

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