NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A gathering of nearly 2,000 people shut down a portion of Nolensville Pike on Saturday.
“Just all of a sudden we had thousands of people descend on us starting around three o’clock in the afternoon,” said Bruce Krapf.
Krapf, who is the general manager for ThriftSmart, said Saturday, April 22 was unlike any day he’s ever worked before.
“We started noticing that there were droves and droves of college students and our parking lot was filling up, and all of a sudden we weren’t able to get customers parked,” he said.
A party was happening minutes away down Nolensville Pike near Northcrest Drive.
Krapf said they, along with other businesses and their landlord, began calling the Metro Nashville Police Department, who eventually arrived on scene.
“I think there was three police cars out here around 3:30, and they just basically said there wasn’t anything they could do,” he said. “They told the landlord that and then they left.”
Soon, things began getting out of control; cars were doing donuts, shutting down the street while the parking lot of the ThriftSmart began to fill up.
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“Probably around four o’clock it started to be concerning, because we couldn’t get anybody in and out of the parking lot,” said Krapf.
Krapf said people from the party were taking over their bathrooms, and they soon made the decision to shut down the store around 6 p.m.
MNPD tweeted that it was an unsanctioned gathering where 1,500 to 2,000 people congregated in private business parking lots for little over an hour.
Police said Nolensville Pike reopened at 8:45 p.m., but Krapf feels police could have done more to handle this situation before it got to that point.
“We didn’t really have a response of, ‘Hey let’s break this up. Let’s get people out of here,'” he said. “It was really a non-response from what I saw.”
Krapf said he’s all for everyone having fun, but wishes it could have been organized better.
“I would hope that any organizers that hear this would take heed and do things properly and meet in places that can handle this type of crowd.”
Other businesses nearby spoke to News 2, saying they called police and shut down early as well.
Police said no arrests were made, and no one was hurt that evening.
News 2 did reach out to the MNPD, where a spokesperson said the officers that arrived earlier that day advised the landlord of the shopping complex that they could tow vehicles.
They said at the time no criminal activity was taking place, so their officers did not make any arrests.
Metro Councilwoman Sandra Sepulveda, whose District 30 includes the area where the gathering happened, issued the following statement:
“As many of you are aware, there was an incident that occurred over the weekend that halted traffic for several hours. There is an event that has been held in several places around the country. The event promoter applied for a permit and was denied. Somehow they got connected to one of the businesses who allowed them to host the event on their property. The event was only suppose to go until 8 p.m., but somewhere around 6 p.m. there was an altercation and the business decided to shutdown the event. People spilled over onto the street at this point. I was informed that the business was out cleaning the streets (Monday). Metro legal is looking at next steps for taking action against the promoter. They are conducting an investigation and will inform us when that is concluded.“