More than 100 people were arrested in Ocean City, Maryland, on Saturday and Sunday as police cracked down on “unruly and violent behavior” during an unauthorized car rally.
City police and officers from across the Eastern Shore arrested people for “various criminal and traffic” offenses, Ocean City police said in an update early Sunday.
“Incidents throughout town progressed from social gatherings to unruly and violent behavior among the large crowds, specifically in the downtown area,” a statement said.
A Maryland State Police trooper was injured in a scuffle with a suspect at one point during the incident and had to be taken to a hospital. Police say the trooper was released Sunday morning and is recovering at home.
Ocean City Police Chief Ross Buzzuro said those arrested were participants in the pop-up rally being held over the weekend.
An event known as H20i is loosely organized on social media and attracts drivers who lower and modify vehicles, particularly Audis and Volkswagens, The Baltimore Sun reported. An H20i organizer did not immediately respond to an inquiry.
Buzzuro said many of the visitors to Ocean City are not car enthusiasts.
“They are here to disrupt, destroy and disrespect our community and our law enforcement officers,” the police chief’s statement said.
People at the rally blocked streets and set off illegal fireworks, The Salisbury Daily Times reported.
City police were still on the scene of “several incidents as of 5 a.m. Sunday, they said. They planned to release additional information.
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.
Stay with NBC Washington for more details on this developing story.