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Mob of 500 takes over intersection, gawks at cars doing donuts at 2 a.m. After cops move in, officer is hit by vehicle — and driver flees scene.
Image source: YouTube screenshot

Mob of 500 takes over intersection, gawks at cars doing donuts at 2 a.m. After cops move in, officer is hit by vehicle — and driver flees scene.

A mob of about 500 took over a Philadelphia intersection over the weekend, watching and recording video of cars doing donuts around 2 a.m. Sunday. However, after police moved in to disperse the crowd, a vehicle hit an officer, and the driver fled the scene.

What are the details?

Officials said the crowd and vehicles were near a Sunoco gas station in the 1300 block of Broad Street in north Philadelphia, KYW-TV reported.

Cellphone video showed two people hanging out of windows of a car doing donuts at Broad and Thompson Streets while two others on foot stayed ahead of the car and recorded video, the station said. The videographers hopped and ran out of the way to keep from getting hit.

One police officer wasn't so lucky. He suffered a broken ankle after being struck by a vehicle, KYW said, adding that the driver fled the scene. The injured officer was taken to Jefferson University Hospital where he was treated, the station added.

Several other officers also were injured as a result of the incident, and officials told KYW they also were treated.

The station added that police are still searching for the motorist who hit the officer.

'Entire street was covered with kids'

"This entire street was covered with kids, and there was racing going on, and people were doing wheelies in the intersection, and it grew from there," Noah Prabhakar, who watched the whole thing from his balcony, told KYW.

Residents told the station it all started as a party on an apartment building rooftop, and then a fire alarm was pulled — and the crowd traveled to a next-door gas station.

"People were trying to get in. A lot of people were here," Amiya, who declined to give her last name, noted to KYW. "I heard it was the party of the year."

Soon the crowd began blocking the intersection, after which nearby residents called 911, the station said.

Dozens of police officers arrived to break up the crowd, KYW noted, adding that the cellphone video shows several people being detained.

"I saw one of the officers get pushed down, and then the other officers were surrounding him, and they were waiting for the ambulance to come, and they loaded him into the ambulance," Prabhakar noted to the station.

Police told KYW the North Broad Street gathering was one of five to which officers responded over the weekend.

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5, told the station that "what's really sad is the city is starting to become accustomed to this."

McNesby added to KYW that such incidents make life harder for an already short-staffed department: "We're 1,400, 1,500 officers down. If we start to get them numbers back and increase the roles of the Philadelphia Police Department, we'll be able to handle things like this."

Philadelphia City Council last month approved legislation to crack down on illegal street racing and car meet-ups, the station said.

Several officers injured as police try to disperse crowds in North Philadelphiayoutu.be

Anything else?

In early June, an 18-year-old male was shot dead by Pennsylvania State Police officers who said he hit two troopers with his car amid illegal street racing on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia.

The number of such car "meet-ups" and vehicular stunts appears to be increasing.

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