Police arrested five people at Tuesday’s car enthusiast “flash mob,” which drew more than 3,000 people – and roughly 1,000 vehicles – to the Empire Center in Burbank.
Three were arrested, cited and released for possessing marijuana, and two for engaging in speeding contests, said Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn. The vehicles belonging to the pair cited for racing were impounded.
Additionally, 74 citations were issued for equipment violations and other infractions, and five parking tickets were issued, Ryburn said.
Even so, the event was largely peaceful, police reported. By mid-evening, officers had closed the parking lot to cars, shut down surrounding streets because of traffic congestion and warned motorists to avoid the area.
“We had the ability to lock down the area, and thus limiting the amount of vehicles in there,” Ryburn said.
But some locals felt frustrated after getting caught up in snarled traffic.
When Brian Patrick, who works near the Empire Center, got off work at 9:30 p.m., he felt trapped by the flood of cars. So he went back to work for another three hours.
“I don’t see how this benefits local businesses because it really does shut everything down,” Patrick said, adding that he saw event-goers smoking marijuana near his car and speeding through the parking lot. “To say that it is harmless is not true.”