Late Saturday night, it looked like Columbus police rolled up on a scene straight out of the movie “Fast and Furious.”
On nights when large groups of fast-car owners converge at the Civic Center, you can clearly hear the spinning of tires and the racing of engines coming from the South Commons.
That roar came to a screeching halt over the weekend.
A police motor squad DUI detail descended on the South Commons around midnight and blocked all the exits as a large group was gathered in the Civic Center’s parking lot.
What ensued was a significant crackdown on illegal behavior that police suspect has been going on for months.
This DUI task force detail was spurred by an incident back in February when a Fort Benning soldier was at the Civic Center, and left heading north on Veterans Parkway. At 23rd Street, the Subaru that 30-year-old Addison Owen was driving struck and killed a pedestrian.
Police say Owen was racing other vehicles, weaving in and out of traffic and going nearly 80 miles per hour when he struck and killed 58-year-old Erik Bronson, 58.
What police found Saturday night was 113 vehicles, most of them trying to find a way out of the massive parking lot.
“We have had a significant issue with people gathering up in their vehicles, laying drag, riding on top of vehicles, very reckless behavior,” Deaton said. “…We went down, cut off all the exits, made contact with 113 vehicles out there that night. We issued 30 citations. Had eight arrests, 12 charges, two DUIs and recovered several guns.”
Deaton says the citations ranged from reckless driving to no headlights or seat belts.