OCEAN CITY, Md. -- More than 100 people have been arrested on criminal and traffic offenses during an unauthorized car rally in a Maryland city, where confrontations between participants and police were captured on videos.
The Baltimore Sun reports that police from neighboring jurisdictions helped Ocean Police officers with crowd control at the H2oi rally in the beach town.
Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro said in a statement Sunday that the rally participants came to the city “to disrupt, destroy and disrespect our community and our law enforcement officers.”
“This is not a car show and the majority of these visitors are not car enthusiasts,” he said. "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.”
A video posted online shows an officer from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police grabbing a man walking in a crosswalk and forcing him to the ground. A department spokeswoman said the man was arrested for disorderly conduct and that police were “gathering more information” about whether the officer followed the proper protocol.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan has vowed to end the annual event. To deter people from coming, legislators allowed the city to create a zone with reduced speed limits and increased fines for infractions such as racing, skidding and wheel-spinning.