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Southwest Side neighbors on edge after car enthusiast takeover turns violent

Video shows Southwest Side car enthusiast takeover getting violent
Video shows Southwest Side car enthusiast takeover getting violent 03:13

CHICAGO (CBS) -- They're commonly known as takeovers – meetups where car enthusiasts get together and socialize.

But a recent one in the Marquette Park neighborhood seems to have turned violent – and residents there say they are worried about their safety. They also fear another takeover could get out of hand again.

As CBS 2's Marybel González reported, police said dozens of drivers went into the parking lot of a warehouse this past Saturday night – where things quickly escalated. It was all captured on camera.

On Tuesday night, residents called on authorities to put a stop to such gatherings.

The dramatic video from the Saturday night takeover has been making its rounds on social media. It shows the moments the large gathering became violent.

Some of the people in the video can be seen jumping on top of a parked car, and in other images, some even appear to be run over.

"It's a very dangerous game that they're playing," said Ald. Derrick Curtis (18th).

According to Ald. Curtis, the video was captured Saturday night around midnight in the parking lot of a warehouse in the 2800 block of West Columbus Avenue. West Columbus Avenue – not to be confused with Columbus Drive in the downtown area – is a diagonal roadway that cuts a northeast-southwest path through the city's Southwest Side and is known as Southwest Highway in the suburbs.

Curtis said the violent car enthusiast takeover in the warehouse parking lot on that road is just one of many incidents involving gatherings and reckless driving that his ward has seen this past year.

"Cars are revving up and racing down 79th Street – anywhere where they find a stretch of streets and roads where they can race," Curtis said.

But this latest incident has put the surrounding neighborhood on edge. Residents we spoke to did not want to be identified due to safety concerns.

The neighbors say they are worried about the takeovers happening just steps away from their homes. They say they have reported the incidents to 311.

"You just see all these people running. It's scary," one neighbor said. "I mean, have a 2-year-old, and my mom is always like concerned about her safety – and I mean, every other weekend, the cars are coming by."

Hose Sandoval said he was there the night of the most recent takeover. He is a self-proclaimed car enthusiast who says what should have just been a friendly meetup turned into chaos.

"We're just there just to have fun – no drama, no action or nothing like that," Sandoval said. "Saturday when I went, it was crazy – I don't remember it being like this at all."

Meanwhile, Ald. Curtis says he met with Chicago Police prior to the Saturday night incident to discuss a safety plan. But he fears there is not much police can do right now, other than ask residents to keep reporting the gatherings and races as they see them.

"It's going to take community effort to take control of it again," Curtis said.

We checked with Chicago Police to ask whether their officers responded to any calls made regarding the Saturday night takeover incident and if any arrests were made. We had not heard back Tuesday night.

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