RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — One man is behind bars, with nearly 100 summonses issued between Richmond and Henrico Police, after an attempted “car club takeover” in the city Saturday night.

Video obtained by 8News from an individual who was at one of the six locations where authorities diffused the meet-ups shows hundreds of cars and people gathering in the parking lot at Southside Plaza. Other videos show drivers doing doughnuts, as crowds looked on.

“I use the term ‘car club’ loosely because this is not a traditional car club. This is not a group of friends admiring their cars — retro vehicles, classic vehicles — at all,” Richmond Police Department (RPD) Chief Gerald Smith said. “This is a group of individuals who are coming together to disrupt and do illegal activities on the streets of Richmond.”

Smith said that authorities were first made aware of the “takeover” attempt via social media, where they were able to monitor planned movements.

“We watch social media quite a bit, mining for illegal activities and things that could help us in investigations, and we came across it and we started to monitor it very closely,” he said. “It always is a concern it could happen again. But we will be ready and standing by for something like this to happen.”

According to a release, an estimated 300 cars converged in and around the city at 9 p.m. Saturday, meeting at various locations throughout the evening, including Regency Square, Southpark Mall and Circle Plaza Shopping Center. As one location was cleared out, police said participants left to go to another location, only to be met by authorities. A spokesperson for RPD said that the “takeover” ended at approximately 12:34 a.m. Sunday.

“They’re taking their life into their own hands, and not only their life, but [also] an innocent pedestrian who may not know exactly what’s taking place and may end up being a victim of their foolishness,” Smith said. “There’s no other way to put it. This is foolishness that’s just not going to be tolerated in the streets of Richmond.”

Chief Smith noted that RPD was not the only local law enforcement agency involved in policing Saturday night’s event. The operation also involved Virginia State Police, Henrico County Police, the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office, VCU Police, the Richmond Sheriff’s Office and the City of Richmond Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

RPD issued 45 summonses stemming from the event, while Henrico Police issued 53. The offenses included:

  • Reckless driving
  • Illegal tint
  • Expired registration
  • Trespassing
  • No proof of insurance
  • Disregarding a red light
  • Improper display of license plates
  • Defective equipment
  • Failure to have vehicle inspected
  • Improper exhaust system
  • Failure to wear seatbelt
  • No valid operator’s license
Richard C. Shreve, Jr. (Photo by RPD)

There was also one arrest made. Richard C. Shreve, Jr. was charged with felony eluding of a law enforcement officer, reckless driving and illegal window tint. Authorities said that his car was impounded. According to Richmond Jail records, Shreve is behind bars, and scheduled for a Feb. 22 court appearance.

“It’s a concern even without that type of behavior,” Smith said. “Taking over a street is not what they are allowed to do. The streets are for the citizens of Richmond to get from one place to the other. Our commerce travels on the highways and our roads through here, as well.”

The police chief said that it could have been a potentially deadly event, and he hopes that individuals will think twice before trying something like this again.