Lincoln police shut down section of O Street after crowd gets rowdy during ‘Cruise Night’

A rowdy, brazen crowd gathered along a section of Lincoln’s O Street forced police to temporarily shut down the main roadway for part of a night over the holiday weekend.

Lincoln police, along with officers from three other law-enforcement agencies, conducted an initiative Saturday night targeting O Street between 17th and 84th Streets during “Cruise Night.”

Police said several thousand people lined O Street between 48th and 56th Streets to watch the informal parade of collector cars and hot rods.

A large and disruptive crowd of between 100 and 200 people, primarily made up of men in their late teens and early 20s, gathered on the northeast corner of 48th and O Streets, police said. Some members of the crowd entered O Street, urging drivers to do burnouts and pouring liquids in the street, police said.

About 11 p.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop near 48th and O Streets. The officer requested backup after the crowd closed in and began throwing cans, bottles and rocks at the officer.

The debris struck the police cruiser, innocent bystanders and other vehicles on O Street, police said. Authorities had not yet come up with a dollar estimate of the damage as of late Tuesday, Officer Angela Sands said.

The crowd ignored police commands to move back, police said, so officers temporarily closed O Street.

About four dozen law enforcement officers — Lincoln police, Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Nebraska State Patrol troopers and University of Nebraska-Lincoln officers — shut down O Street between 48th and 56th Streets, police said. Traffic was redirected away from the area.

Officers reopened O Street about 45 minutes later.

There were no reported injuries, police said, and no arrests were made. An investigation remains ongoing and tickets may be issued, Sands said.

From May 24 through Saturday, officers issued more 200 traffic citations and warnings as part of an overall crackdown on O Street between 17th and 84th Streets, police said.