“Moron tourism” has been blamed for an in-flux of hoon drivers to the nation’s capital for the infamous Summernats festival that has descended into punch ups and burnouts in the streets.
ACT Police is now investigating a string of incidents captured on video and posted to social media including a brawl between security staff and attendees and other anti-social behaviour that led to two arrests, 13 cars impounded and more than 100 defect notices issued.
In the footage, attendees can be repeatedly seen holding iPhones in the air to record brawls as men punched on.
Acting Inspector Mark Richardson let fly at a press conference in Canberra today slamming some of those in attendance as “a subspecies of the human race.”
“The real car enthusiasts are not the problem. It’s the moron tourism that we get,” he said.
“If we set up an IQ-testing station at the border instead of a vehicle-testing station we’d halve our problems.
“They just literally come down here to see ‘how big of a pest can I be this week’, and that’s the problem.”
Police reported that crowds had gathered to watch burnouts across the region including the industrial suburb of Fyshwick and across the NSW border in Queanbeyan.
“They were all over Canberra, and we’re literally just going around playing Whac-A-Mole,” Acting Inspector Mark Richardson said.
“We have a fair idea where these events are going to occur, but the behaviour of these drivers, they just haven’t evolved very far; I think they’ve really plateaued as a species, a subspecies of the human race.
“I don’t know what goes through their mind.”
In one incident, police said two children and two adult passengers were in the vehicle while it was recorded doing burnouts.
The 22-year-old driver from Macquarie was issued with an immediate suspension notice and his Holden Commodore was seized.
TikTok and Facebook were also awash with uploaded footage of a brawl involving Summernats patrons and security guards.
In one video, a large man wearing a pink hi-vis “crowd safety” vest approaches a man in the crowd and punches him in the face.
As police arrived on the scene, one man in the crowd shouted “get the security guard”
Summernats co-owner Andy Lopez told The Canberra Times that the incident was under investigation.
“The footage that we saw was quite disturbing,’’ Acting Superintendent Rod Anderson said.
“But I would say that there’s many different angles to the footage and the incident that occurred and police will fully investigate, gathering as much information and evidence as we can before we determine which way we’re going to act.”
Rocks and bottles were also allegedly thrown at officials both inside and outside the event.
“On a couple of occasions, our members were surrounded by crowds who were egging each other on — that typical moronic mob behaviour — but we had resources available to quell that sort of carry on,” he said.
“We also had rocks and bottles and that sort of thing thrown at us and our cars but our members are very professional and tolerant and we dealt with it professionally.”