Crowd Vandalizes, Sets Fire To Waymo Self-Driving Car In San Francisco


Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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A crowd in San Francisco vandalized and set fire to a Waymo self-driving car Saturday, video footage showed.

The car was reportedly driving in the Chinatown district of the city Saturday night before a crowd began to gather around the white sport utility vehicle. Video footage posted to X (formerly known as Twitter)s showed a large crowd tagging the vehicle at first before other crowd members began to smash the car’s windows and attempt to open it.

People in the crowd could be seen filming the incident as it appeared that two men smashed at the windows, with one using a skateboard repeatedly hitting the car. Other videos later showed the car up in flames as a crowd formed around the vehicle. (RELATED: San Francisco Mayor Becomes Latest California Dem Supporting Ballot Measure To Stiffen Penalties For Retail Crimes)

A witness to the incident, Michael Vandi, told Reuters that people had been celebrating China’s Lunar New Year and setting off fireworks before the event occurred. Vandi stated that a person jumped onto the hood of the car and broke the windshield and noted that nearly 30 seconds later a second person jumped onto the hood as well with someone from the crowd clapping in approval.

“That was when it went WILD,” Vandi told the outlet in a direct message on X. “There were 2 groups of people. Folks who encourage it — and others who were just shocked & started filming. No one stood up — [I] mean there wasn’t anything you could do to stand up to dozens of people.”

Waymo officials confirmed that after the windows were broken on the vehicle someone threw a firework inside, setting it on fire, according to Reuters.

“The vehicle was not transporting any riders and no injuries have been reported. We are working closely with local safety officials to respond to the situation,” Waymo stated.

While it is still unclear what caused the crowd to attack the vehicle, the San Francisco Police Department has since confirmed that it is investigating the cause of the fire and has not said if any arrests were made.