Get the 411 on Weekend Sideshow Crackdown

Sunday, Oct 25, 2009  |  Updated 8:00 PM PDT
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Get the 411 on Weekend Sideshow Crackdown

Oakland police are examining which cities drivers are from who participate in sideshows as part of a crackdown on the high-speed driving activity.

"Usually about half are from outside Oakland," spokesman Jeff Thomason said Sunday.

Many of the drivers are from San Leandro and Hayward, he said, but it isn't clear why that is the case.

Police issued 95 citations and towed 30 vehicles Friday night, Thomason said. There also were six felony arrests, 13 misdemeanor arrests and two firearms were recovered.

The crackdown continued Saturday night, when police issued 156 citations, towed 37 vehicles, arrested one person for driving under the influence, arrested six others for felonies and 13 for misdemeanors. One firearm was also recovered, according to Thomason.

New police Chief Anthony Batts addressed the issue of sideshows at his swearing-in ceremony Tuesday night. Shortly after being formally installed as chief, Batts said cracking down on late-night sideshow behavior will be an immediate priority.

While the gatherings have long been a problem in Oakland, recent weeks have been especially deadly.

Police say sideshow activity was a factor in a high-speed crash early Oct. 17 that left three young people dead and three more injured. A 23-year-old who was shot and killed the morning of Oct. 11 was also involved in a sideshow, police said.

Bay City News

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