PERTH AMBOY — Police promise more arrests after drivers performing donuts blocked traffic at the base of the Victory Bridge late Sunday afternoon.

Cars with squealing tires drove back and forth in the middle of Route 35 at Smith Street as a large crowd gathered just before 6 p.m. to watch what Mayor Helmin Caba called a "racing and drifting" takeover event.

Over a dozen summonses were issued so far, the mayor said.


Drivers on both sides of Route 35 honked their horns in frustration.

An off-duty Perth Amboy police officer happened to be in the area and was first to respond, according to the mayor.

Seized vehicle from Perth Amboy racing and drifting event 3/17/24
Seized vehicle from Perth Amboy racing and drifting event 3/17/24

Caba said the event had been planned with "similar activities reported in several jurisdictions earlier that day."

Police Chief Larry Cattano told New Jersey101.5 that police are investigating the connection to various locations where cars met up that day.

Cattano said police are looking into how many vehicles were involved.

Two vehicles were hit by debris and there was a minor crash involving a car that was fleeing the area, police said.

The incident was cleared by 6:10 p.m., according to Caba.

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Impounded vehicle

Deyvi Navarette-Menzjivar, 21, of Plainfield, was the only person arrested but Caba said additional charges were "expected in the coming days."

Navarette-Menjivar was charged with disorderly third-degree conduct and interference of transportation and was taken to the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center awaiting his first court appearance in Middlesex County Superior Court.

One vehicle was impounded and is subject to civil forfeiture proceedings.

Cattano said this was the first time this has happened in Perth Amboy but it's not the first time traffic in the city was impacted by an unusual activity.

A large group of bicyclists rode through the city in an "unsafe and reckless manner" in April 2021 that Caba said caused motorists to stop or swerve. A video of their ride posted on X received over 2 million views.

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