- Over a hundred people were arrested after participating in a pop-up car rally in Maryland
- The police’s aggressive enforcement was caught on video and shared on social media
- One video showed officers spraying “nuisance nasal spray” to disperse the crowd
- A state trooper was also injured after chasing a fleeing suspect
Authorities in Maryland have arrested more than a hundred people after they participated in an unauthorized car rally over the weekend.
The H2Oi pop-up car rally in Ocean City late Saturday drew hundreds of cars that caused turmoil in the resort town. Prior to the event, city officials told participants and visitors to “pick another weekend” to avoid “excessive noise, traffic delays and increased law enforcement presence” that later materialized, Patch reported.
This year’s gathering was the second gathering in Ocean City this year resulting in over a hundred arrests. Minor problems were reported during the day of the event, with the city’s police department saying that participants became unruly and destructive in the evening hours.
Officials also sought the help of six other agencies to help with crowd control. Those arrested during the event were charged with criminal and traffic offenses.
“Our policing philosophy is to be friendly, fair and firm. Unfortunately, the disorderly behavior and unruly crowds left no choice but to shift our philosophy and take additional steps to protect our officers and our community,” said the Baltimore Sun, citing a statement from Ocean City Police chief Ross Buzzuro.
The police’s “aggressive enforcement” came in the wake of protesters calling for police reform and urging to “defund the police.” H2Oi organizers on the other hand still managed to come together despite stern calls for social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Videos of the arrests were shared on social media. Delaware native Joseph Davis captured an officer “roughly forcing” a man to the ground while he was walking in the crosswalk.
“I didn’t like what was happening so I started recording,” said the 17-year-old Davis. An unidentified minor was also arrested for disorderly conduct.
Another video showed an officer tackling a person to the ground before another individual jumped on top of the officer. The second person was then tackled by police. The crowd began filming the incident, with one shouting “police brutality.” Officers were also caught spraying a “nasal nuisance spray” in an effort to disperse the crowd, said the Baltimore Sun.
A Maryland State Police state trooper was reported to have been injured while attempting to arrest a feeling suspect. CBS Baltimore said the trooper chased suspect Jonathan Bello as he attempted to flee.
The trooper caught up with Bello when both fell to the ground with Bello landing on top of the officer, knocking him unconscious and was injured.
The 17-year-old Bello was later arrested and charged with resisting arrest, reckless endangerment, escape and disorderly conduct, added the outlet.