Lodi Police, working with the California Highway Patrol and the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department, monitored a large unauthorized car show in the Lowe’s parking lot on Lower Sacramento Road on Friday night.
Sgt. Mike Oden said Lodi Police got word of an illegal car show planned for 6:30 p.m. in Lodi, and that 200 people were causing a disturbance at the location. Invitations were spread online to dozens of car clubs from the Central Valley to the Bay Area. Classic cars, drag racers and what’s known as “hyphy” car clubs took over the parking lot outside Lowe’s and In-N-Out Burger.
Lodi Police went into action, calling officers in early for the night shift and planning a joint operation with CHP and Sheriff’s officers. Nearly 30 law enforcement officers worked on the scene.
When police arrived, More than 2,000 people were present along with hundreds of cars, trucks and motorcycles. Some were teenagers with a new driver’s license, while others were older drivers showing off their classic cars.
“People were driving recklessly, spinning tires, running lights, racing on side streets, drinking and driving. Fights are common, too, at these events,” said Oden.
While a majority of the people present were well-behaved, law enforcement took a zero-tolerance approach to the reckless drivers, said Oden.
Thirty-one citations were issued, one car was impounded, and CHP arrested one driver after a short pursuit. There were no injuries. Many participants stayed on to admire one another’s cars and caused no trouble, said police.
The scene was cleared by 10 p.m., though many participants tried to move the party to the Reynolds Ranch Parkway shopping center.
There, Lodi officers arrested Mohsin Khan, 18, for reckless driving. Others drivers tried to set up a drag racing strip on Guild Avenue near Victor. More than 40 cars fled the scene, and were followed by a CHP helicopter to make sure they didn’t set up racing anywhere else.
Other groups have tried to set up similar events in years past, but officers were able to set up operations to deter them before the cars arrived in Lodi, said Oden.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.