FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ADAMS) – A large rally of trucks was broken up by Fort Wayne police over the weekend.
FWPD officials say that this was an ‘internet rally’ and that it scared many patrons who said they feared making the trip to their vehicles.
Police started receiving calls on Saturday night from both mall guests and employees just before 9 p.m.
— kevin (@shaffer_kevin5) June 28, 2020
Fort Wayne police officials released the following statement regarding the incident:
Officers responded to Glenbrook and Glenbrook Commons area reference a disturbance in the form of a large diesel truck gathering on the lot of both properties. Apparently, this was some sort of internet rally to gather diesel trucks on the lot of Glenbrook Mall. The gathering was on private property and there were several trucks that were blocking the road due to being in stopped traffic on Lima Road. They were trying to get into the area that was flooded with trucks. Officers were getting calls about employees stuck inside their workplaces afraid to leave. Calls came in from stranded employees and customers stating they were scared to go to their vehicles. Officers assisted as best they could with getting people out of the area. The crowd was reported by officers as around a thousand trucks and several thousand people. Specialty units were called in to assist in clearing the area and preparing for possible arrests.
Officers were able to track down the property owner who had apparently not given permission for the gathering to occur on the property. Once that was confirmed and permission from the property manager to clear the lot was given officers continued formulating a plan to get people off the property. That plan included a text alert feature that had never been used before. A text message from the police department went out in a geo-fenced area along with audible messages by police vehicles. The text message read “By order of the Fort Wayne Police department if you are receiving this message you need to vacate the Glenbrook Mall area immediately or you will be arrested.”
After the message went out the people began to slowly pack up and leave. Many remarked they didn’t know permission was not given and they apologized as they left the area. There were a few trucks attempting to occupy other lots in the surrounding area but property managers called in and quickly gave FWPD permission to clear their lots as well. Within about an hour most of the area had been vacated.
There were no reports of any physical violence or injuries during this event or its conclusion. There was also no reported physical damage to buildings. No physical arrests were made during this incident. Officers stood by until most of the area was cleared.