Toronto police bust huge stunt driving event on first night of provincial shutdown
A large group of Toronto stunt driving enthusiasts literally set the streets of North York on fire this weekend in an apparent bid to look cool, filming themselves doing donuts amid the blaze in defiance of both provincial lockdown rules and multiple regular laws.
The incident started around 2:25 a.m. on Sunday morning, according to Toronto Police, at McNicoll Avenue and Placer Court (a location these groups have been known to frequent in the past.)
Footage from the scene compiled by 6ixbuzzTV shows dozens, if not hundreds of people standing around a parking lot while flames shoot into the air, and then around the intersection itself while a car does burnouts inside a ring of fire.
Someone in the latter clip pours what appears to be a flammable substance onto the road, forming the fiery ring, inside of which several people can be seen filming with their phones while a car spins violently around them.
Toronto Police broke up a huge and fiery stunt driving event in North York this weekend - 📹 6ixBuzz TV https://t.co/oGlWk24Msl #Toronto #NorthYork #StuntDriving #TorontoPolice #Police pic.twitter.com/1Cqp5NHDIc— blogTO (@blogTO) April 5, 2021
TPS Constable Laura Brabant tells blogTO that officers from 33 Division "were met with hostility" when they arrived to the scene and that members of the street racing group jumped on a scout car, "causing extensive damage."
Footage of this was also shared online. In one clip, someone can be seen kicking a mirror off the side of a moving police vehicle. Another clip shared by Straightouttathe6ixtv shows a person jumping on top of a police cruiser while the crowd cheers.
After that person hops off the car, members of the group swarm the cruiser and another person can be seen slapping the front of the vehicle multiple times with an orange traffic cone.
"When the group was dispersed they made their way to other areas of the city and engaged in similar activities," says Brabant, citing the areas of Tapscott Road, the Toronto Zoo, and Dean Park Road in 42 Division.
Scarborough Is Wilding 👀🇨🇦 pic.twitter.com/Du3r3bFo7f— Straightouttathe6ixtv (@sot6ixtv) April 4, 2021
Police had received multiple reports about "large groups gathering in secluded areas to engage in stunt driving, discharging fireworks and other prohibited activities," according to Brabant.
Officers were able to lay charges, but specific details regarding who was charged and with what are not yet available. CP24 reports that at least one person was charged with stunt driving and failing to remain at the scene of a collision.
While far from the first time police in the GTA have busted Fast & Furious fans engaged in such activities over the past few years, this meetup is being seen by some as particularly egregious given that it took place just hours after new provincewide shutdown rules came into effect.
"This lockdown is not really lockdown. People are just doing what they want. [Doug Ford] has failed us," wrote one Twitter user.
"The lawlessness would be expected if they think nobody would be out to condemn (especially cops), but the amount of people? No," wrote another. "Not that many should be into watching some rando try and drift."
Unreal. I weep for the future. I get that this has been a shit show of epic proportions all around, however, regardless if you agree or not with our current circumstances, still have respect. For the law, for people, for being human. This is just childish and idiotic. 😔— Kimmer 🇨🇦 (@Squeeziks) April 4, 2021
These troublesome stunt driving meetups aren't new, but they have grown in size and frequency since the COVID-19 pandemic minimized traffic on local streets last spring.
Back in October, Peel Regional Police announced the arrests of six street race facilitators from all over the GTA. The six men, all in their 20s, are said to have "willingly put their own lives and the lives of others at risk, making them a serious threat to public safety."
More than 40 charges under the Criminal Code of Canada were laid at the time, including dangerous driving, obstruction, causing a disturbance and failure to comply, among other things.
And yet, the behaviour persists, leaving locals once again to beg the question: How far will these groups go before authorities can actually stop them?
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