‘Doughnuts, burnouts and other reckless driving’: Kennewick police say ‘well over 100 people’ attended car meet

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Kennewick police say “well over 100 people” attended a car meet in the Gold’s Gym parking lot over the weekend. On top of failing to follow public health guidelines, some who attended were also driving recklessly and putting the public in danger.

Police posted a video showing a large crowd of the people and cars in the parking lot at the corner of Highway 395 and West Clearwater Avenue Friday night. Police said there was another car meet held Saturday night at the same location.

“In the video, we can see well over 100 people gathering in a public space with no visible face coverings. We can also hear car engines being revved,” KPD said on Facebook. “What we don’t see is the doughnuts, burnouts and other reckless driving, both in the parking lot and on the streets as cars leave, which is jeopardizing the health and safety of the pedestrian and motoring public.”

One person who attended one of the car meets, 22-year-old Kafaya Bugal, was arrested for reckless driving, attempting to elude police and driving while suspended, police said.

Lt. Aaron Clem tells KAPP-KVEW police department is urging the public to avoid these kind of rallies because they put the public at risk on multiple levels.

He said the large number of people who attended without masks have the potential to spread the coronavirus, which could lead to more people getting sick and dying.

The main concern, however, is the reckless driving by people who are showing up to these events. Clem said there’s a high risk of someone getting seriously injured or killed because of the way certain attendees are driving.

Police said they’ve partnered with businesses throughout the city to have them limit parking lot access to customers only in order to keep the public safer.

Public Safety Concerns

Shown in this video is an example of a disregard for public safety, both from a traffic safety stand point and a public health stand point due to COVID-19. The video was captured last weekend at the Highlands Center, SR 395/ Clearwater Ave. In the video, we can see well over 100 people gathering in a public space with no visible face coverings. We can also hear car engines being revved. What we don't see is the doughnuts, burnouts and other reckless driving, both in the parking lot and on the streets as cars leave, which is jeopardizing the health and safety of the pedestrian and motoring public.We are striving to educate first. If you involved in these rallies please understand these concerns and avoid them. We have been in contact with these businesses and others throughout the city and have partnered with them to limit parking lot access to customers only in an attempt to prevent serious injury or loss of life. We have also been in contact with our local law enforcement partners at Pasco Police, Richland WA Police Department, Benton County, WA Sheriff's Office – Sheriff Jerry Hatcher and Washington State Patrol for extra patrols in Kennewick and our neighboring cities to take enforcement action as needed.Enforcement action last weekend included a driver who fled the scene after a reckless driving incident and was later identified as 22-year-old Kafaya Bugal. Bugal was arrested and booked at Benton County Jail for alleged crimes of Attempting to Elude, Reckless Driving and Driving While License Suspended/Revoked.

Posted by Kennewick Police Department on Thursday, August 13, 2020