San Francisco

Bay Area Residents, Leaders Fed Up With Sideshows

NBC Universal, Inc.

Illegal sideshows popped up across the Bay Area this past weekend, frustrating residents and local leaders.

In Oakland, the dangerous driving took over multiple city streets.

"They may kill somebody," Catrina Fong of San Leandro said. "They may hurt somebody."

One person was arrested, multiple citations were handed out and vehicles were towed. A police cruiser was also damaged when someone rammed the back of the vehicle.

"They are playing with death," Rino Carrasco of Oakland said. "That’s why they do it, right? It's kind of sad."

Some residents are worried about the strain sideshows put on an already limited police force.

"They don’t have enough police," Fong said. "There are a lot of police, but they can't shut it down. The laws need to be changed."

In San Francisco, cars and crowds covered Dolores and 16th streets Saturday night. Police eventually broke up the event.

Witnesses believe sideshows have increased in the last month.

"It's like the screeching and then police cars kind of all over," Nima Jelveh said. "There were people in masks too all over the place."

Similar stunt shows in San Jose Sunday led to police arresting three people, citing nearly two dozen spectators and impounding multiple cars.

Recent laws in San Jose make it illegal to participate, promote or even watch a sideshow.

Oakland Councilmember Noel Gallo is looking to introduce a similar ordinance this week.

"Not only do we want to cite you, we want to confiscate your vehicle and at the same time we are going to arrest you," he said.

The proposed rules would penalize promoters, organizers and participants of sideshows but not spectators.

"We want to make sure that our streets are safe and clean for our children and families," Gallo said.

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