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Santa Rosa Police Describe Chaos From Multiple Sideshows

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Santa Rosa Police had to call for help from multiple agencies Saturday night into Sunday morning, when hundreds of cars and spectators showed up at multiple sites, reportedly with weapons and fireworks, to put on sideshows in and around the city.

At least one car was destroyed by fire and one resident was threatened with a firearm. Several assaults were also reported.

Call started coming in to police at 10:57 p.m. Saturday, concerning approximately 50 vehicles gathering in the Food Maxx parking lot at 2055 Sebastopol Road. As police began coordinating resources, the vehicles started dispersing southbound on Stony Point Road.

Police - including the Sonoma County Sheriff' Office and the California Highway Patrol - began receiving the next batch of calls at 11:12 p.m., reporting sideshow activity in the unincorporated area of Santa Rosa at Stony Point Road and Todd Avenue. Vehicles were allegedly "driving recklessly, burning out, and doing donuts/drifting," Santa Rosa Police said, in a statement.

By 11:27 p.m., there were reports a vehicle caught fire at Stony Point Road and Todd Avenue intersection. The illegal sideshow participants and spectators began dispersing north on Stony Point Road, into city limits.

Police received calls at 11:45 p.m. of sideshow activity at Frazier Avenue and Petaluma Hill Road. The vehicles dispersed after 20 minutes, after police coordinated additional resources, and began identifying participants and started enforcement efforts.

At 11:53 p.m., more sideshow activity was reported at Summerfield Road and Hoen Avenue. Officers found approximately 150 participating vehicles lining the streets and neighboring businesses' parking lots and occupying the intersection. Police said there were 200 to 250 spectators.

Residents also reported being assaulted in the area, and a vehicle caught fire in the intersection. Responding Santa Rosa firefighters were surrounded by sideshow participants and spectators, with some allegedly climbing on the fire engine as firefighters extinguished the car fire. Police said they eventually cleared the intersection and attended to assault victims.

At 12:57 a.m., police received reports approximately 200 vehicles took over the intersection of Willowside Road and Guerneville Road, in unincorporated Santa Rosa. By 1:05 a.m., those vehicles moved to the intersection of Fulton Road and Piner Road. As the situation developed, police received a report of a masked suspect brandishing a firearm and threatening a citizen. There were also reports of illegal fireworks and firearms being shot.

Santa Rosa Police then called for mutual aid from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office, Petaluma Police Department, Sebastopol Police Department, Cotati Police Department, Healdsburg Police Department, Cloverdale Police Department, Sonoma State Police Department, and the CHP.

Police received calls at 1:37 a.m. that a sideshow developed at West Avenue and Sebastopol Road. As authorities began clearing the road, they were met with hostile participants and heard gunfire.

Police said participants and spectators dispersed by 3:00 a.m.

Throughout the night, the Santa Rosa Police Communications Center received 396 calls related to the illegal sideshows, not including calls made to other law enforcement agencies.

Police say they will continue investigating and will likely make arrests and impound vehicles.

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