It Happened Without Any Police In Sight, Witnesses Say

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A scene practically out of an action movie transpired recently in the middle of a bustling Brooklyn neighborhood.

As CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported, drivers were showing off dangerously before crowds one night last week, and witnesses said it has been happening without any police in sight. They say it is a wonder nobody was hurt.

The drivers were seen spinning donuts in the middle of the intersection of Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street Friday night before a crowd of hundreds.

“It was so scary, I thought someone was going to get hit,” said Matt Barry. “People would get closer to get better videos, and the car would just like barely almost swipe them. It was really scary.”

The plan all played out on surveillance video. First, teens on bicycles blocked the streets around 9 p.m. and stopped traffic. Then, at least three cars drifted in circles, speeding off just to come back and try again.

People having dinner outside picked up their things and got out of the way, but other onlookers crowded in for a better view – with some even sprinting across the street with just seconds to spare.

“A little scary; a little alarming — especially because we do have a patio area that the guests were sitting at, and so, you know, if one of these guys like lost control, it could be really bad,” said restaurant manager Luke Peloquin.

Peloquin said people by him were calling 911, but he did not see police until long after the show was over.

“Cops really couldn’t come from the other directions, you know, because the streets were backed up with traffic at this point,” he said.

Witnesses said once the cars sped away, many of the spectators scurried off into the subway. All that was left were the tire marks in the intersection.

“I smelled it first because it was just, you know, burnt rubber… then you just heard like honking; people like screaming,” said witness Zachary Domingue.

Domingue said the drivers seemed to be skilled and in control, but even he admits their show was not very safe.

“People were definitely closer than they should have been,” he said.

The automotive high school down the block was having a car show Friday, which ended at 9 p.m. Some people theorize a few of those drivers drifted on over to Bedford and Lorimer.

Nobody from the school was immediately available for comment, but police said they are aware of the situation and investigating.

Police told CBS2’s Bauman that donuts are considered traffic infractions, so an officer has to witness the violation in order to give the driver a ticket.