Lack of police response to East Austin street party leaves neighbors frustrated

A resident is frustrated with police after a street party got out of control. She says the police response was inadequate and the situation could have been avoided.

On Memorial Day, the road near Purple Sage Drive in East Austin was packed with a group of 50-70 people doing car donuts, revving their engines, drinking, and fighting.

A resident who lives right by where the incident happened says she was alarmed and caught parts of it with her phone.

"The streets were literally, like filled from in front of my property, all the way down to the convenience store, literally on both sides of the road," she said.

She told FOX 7 Austin she wanted to remain anonymous in case something like this happens again. She said the street party happened around 7 p.m. She immediately called police to avoid the situation from getting worse. 

When police arrived, they told the party goers the party could continue, it just had to stay off the street, a statement the resident was shocked to hear.

"As soon as the officers left, it just got worse. More people just showed up. They started peeling out in between everybody in the streets and in between all the cars," said the resident.

She said she called the police several times, but nothing was done to stop the street party until around 9:30 p.m. when shots were fired.

"Then that's when all the officers want to show up from different units of different parts of town, you know, with the tactical guns," she said.

She said she was frustrated that it took that long to get police to break up the party. When police were on scene, she said she went outside to check on her property with her son. She said police put them both in handcuffs thinking they were involved with the street takeover party.

"As if we were part of the problem when we were the victims, you know, in the whole situation. We were the ones trying to de-escalate this before it happened," she said.

Police eventually let them go, but she says they did search her home to see if anyone was hiding in there after the party was busted. She said they were up until 3 in the morning dealing with the police.


She believes if police just deescalated the situation at the start, this whole situation could have been avoided.

"None of that should have happened. If they would have broken it up the first time, none of the shootings, I feel, would have happened at all. Maybe they'll take this as an example that they need to take these calls seriously, especially when we're calling from this particular area," said the resident.

An Austin Police spokesperson gave FOX 7 Austin this statement on the incident: 

"On May 29, 2023 at approximately 9:59 p.m., Austin Police Department (APD) officers responded to a reckless driving call. After the investigation at the scene, officers arrested Kevin Mathis on an outstanding felony warrant. This is an ongoing investigation. There is no more information available at this time."