Driver spins sports car around burning Christmas tree in street takeover near Beverly Center

Los Angeles police responded to a street takeover Saturday night at an intersection near the Beverly Center, where a crowd gathered to watch a sports car doing "doughnuts" around a burning Christmas tree.

The crowd gathered around La Cienega Boulevard and West 3rd Street around 10 p.m., but dispersed by the time police arrived, LAPD Officer Norma Eisenman said.

A video posted on Twitter shows the sports car spinning around the Christmas tree.

No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made, Eisenman said. Officers initially responded to a report that someone in the area had been shot, but police ultimately determined that no one had been hurt, she said.

Takeovers, also known as sideshows, have surged since the COVID-19 pandemic began and Southern California roads emptied out. Hordes of spectators block intersections to watch drivers hurtle around — sometimes scattering when vehicles careen into the crowd.

During the first six months of 2022, the LAPD reported 705 sideshows, compared with 500 for the same period last year. Spectators often post images of the crowds, the screeching and the burnouts on social media.

Last month, the LAPD announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of a driver who killed a 24-year-old woman during an illegal street takeover on Christmas Day.

Elyzza Guajaca was watching the street takeover at Florence Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard in Hyde Park around 9 a.m. with a group of about a hundred people, according to police. Three drivers were performing illegal car stunts when the driver of a black Chevy Camaro lost control and veered into a group of spectators standing on the street corner.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.