At least two people have been injured after a police officer responding to a report of a street race crashed his car through a crowd of pedestrians that had gathered around him and were pounding on the vehicle’s windows in downtown Tacoma, Washington state, on Saturday night.
The incident took place before 7 p.m. as about 100 people were blocking an intersection and watching several cars spinning in circles, police said.
A police car arrived, then drove through the crowd after people attempted to obstruct the vehicle, a witness said.
Video posted on social media reveals the police car hitting several people and running over at least one person.
“He had tire marks all over his body,” witness Cory Le said. “Belly out. His shoes were off. Honestly, it was like something out of a movie.”
Tacoma police spokesperson Wendy Haddow said that police were notified shortly after 6 p.m. of the street racers.
Haddow said a responding officer used his car’s bullhorn to address the crowd. The crowd then started to pound on his windows, she said.
“The officer, fearing for his safety, tried to back up, but was unable to do so because of the crowd,” Tacoma Police said in a statement. That led him to speed out of the scene for his own safety.
One person sustained cuts in the crash and was admitted to a hospital, Haddow said.
Puyallup Police Capt. Dan Pashon said that a second person was treated at the hospital and released.
City Manager Elizabeth Pauli said the officer involved in the incident will be placed on leave. The Pierce County Force Investigation Team will handle the case, Pauli said.
Interim Police Chief Mike Ake released a statement saying he was worried about another “use of deadly force incident,” and promised his department’s full cooperation in the probe.