Police, Deputies Dealing With Growing Car ‘Gathering’ Issue
Kennewick Police have shared this video, which they say is part of a growing issue in Kennewick, however, it's affects all local law enforcement.
It's been going on for some time, but especially began to grow significantly back in March during the early stages of COVID.
A number of younger persons, including teens, have made the large parking lot at Highway 395-Kennewick Ave. and Clearwater their gathering/racing/burnout spot.
It's the parking lot that's home to Rite Aid on the south, to Golds Gym and Baskin Robbins to the north, and Starbucks as well. Police say in the video they counted well over 100 people standing around in close proximity. Besides what police said were COVID related non mask issues, their largest concern comes from not just public safety but that of the participants.
Police said the video did not capture races, burnouts, and donuts that are routinely performed by these gatherers. The situation reached a 'head' last weekend, when a 22-year-old man was arrested after a reckless driving incident in the lot which involved hitting a pedestrian as he was fleeing police from the parking lot. The man is facing a plethora of charges.
Kennewick Police say they've partnered with all area enforcement agencies and the WSP to provide additional Friday and Saturday night patrols to break up these meetings. This video was shot just prior to officers clearing the cars and people from the lot.