People arrested for street racing in weekend bust say no one was racing

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Nearly 100 people were arrested over the weekend after a local sheriff said they were involved in street racing.

But some of the people who were arrested told Channel 2′s Tom Jones that they weren’t racing.

They say they were not on a public street and were in a Sam’s Club parking lot having a good time.

The sheriff doesn’t see it that way. He wants to send a message that street racing won’t be tolerated here.

“They were not street racing. They were doing doughnuts,” said Chelce Johnson, one of the people arrested.

The doughnuts came to a screeching halt Saturday night when Clayton County deputies arrested 88 people in the Sam’s Club parking lot.

Sheriff Victor Hill said they were street racing, something he says he won’t tolerate.

“What were you charged with?” Jones asked Johnson.

“Loitering,” Johnson said.

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She says she wasn’t street racing or doing doughnuts. She told Jones that she was across the street when an officer told her she could go back to the parking lot to get her car.

“That’s when they decided to arrest us,” Johnson said.

In addition to the 88 people arrested, the parents of 16 children were cited when they picked them up.

The sheriff said his office seized four guns and towed 50 cars.

Oscar Gallegos was arrested after officers say he led them on a chase.

Jones talked with a man who did not identify himself right after he bonded out jail Monday. He told Jones that the group was doing nothing wrong.

“We were just chilling out, you know? We got a car club,” the man said.

Flor Garcia was there that night but didn’t get arrested. She said she was confused about all the arrests.

“My question is, I don’t know why they say ‘street racing’ ... I don’t think they will arrest these cars just for standing in the parking lot,” Garcia said.

People bonding out said they were not happy about having to march and chant like they were in the military while in jail.

Johnson attempted to contact the sheriff for a comment but hasn’t heard back.

Meanwhile, the police department, which the sheriff says was called in for assistance, is expected to hold a news conference about the arrests on Tuesday.