Sideshow Crackdown Nets Dozens

Monday, Oct 26, 2009  |  Updated 5:00 PM PDT
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Sideshow Crackdown Nets Dozens

San Jose police issued several citations Wednesday night after discovering more than 20 cars gathered for street racing and sideshows, a police spokesman said Thursday.

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Oakland police cracked down on sideshows this weekend, issuing more than 250 citations, arresting dozens of people and seizing several  weapons, a police spokesman said Monday.

      The crackdown came after three people were killed in a sideshow-related crash last weekend on MacArthur Boulevard. Sideshows are  gatherings in which drivers perform stunts, spinning "donuts" and driving  recklessly.
     
Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said extra officers patrolled the streets Friday and Saturday night, focusing on vehicle code  violations.
     
"That's a direct response to what happened last weekend when we had three people tragically killed," Thomason said.
     
The officers issued 251 citations, towed 67 cars, and seized three firearms. They made 12 felony arrests, 26 misdemeanor arrests and seized  narcotics in several cases. Three pursuits occurred, in which two people were  taken into custody.
     
"We had minimal sideshow activity as a direct result of having more officers out on the street," Thomason said.
     
Thomason said there is no concrete timeline for continued crackdowns but said the extra officers will be out again for at least one more weekend.
     
"It's going to happen next weekend for sure because it's Halloween," he said.
     
He noted that sideshow activity tends to wind down during the winter months but that police will "play it by ear" in terms of future stepped-up enforcement. He declined to say how many additional officers were  on duty this past weekend.
     
Police Chief Anthony Batts, who took over as department head last week, has said he will make it a priority to reduce sideshow activity.
     
Last weekend's crash happened at about 4:30 a.m. Saturday in the area of MacArthur Boulevard and 100th Avenue when a speeding Nissan Altima  went out of control and hit several parked cars and a pedestrian before  overturning.
     
Five people were inside the car; three died. Police identified the victims as driver Rickie Reyes Jr., 22, of Hayward; Racquel Cassini, 22, of  San Lorenzo; and Zsorhzinnia Tevaseu, 19, of San Lorenzo.
     
Thomason said the Nissan was seen driving recklessly earlier that night and that the passengers had been seen hanging out the car's windows.

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