Union City Police, Residents Send Warning to Sideshow Participants

After dealing with a huge, disruptive illegal sideshow last week, Union City police and property owners said they have a new plan to try to stop another planned sideshow in its tracks.

Police, store owners and residents found out about a sideshow planned for Friday. Instead of trying to catch the sideshow participants in the act, they took steps to stop it from ever getting started.

Security officer Wayne Russell is well aware how popular the Home Depot parking lot is for sideshow drivers. There are still telltale marks.

But now police said a sideshow and possible street racing, much like recent ones in the East Bay, is being planned through social media for Friday at the Home Depot and adjoining Foot Maxx lots on Industrial Park Way.

Police issued about 100 citations at a sideshow on the Food Maxx lot Saturday. Russell is glad to hear police and property owners plan to prevent what he calls a dangerous event.

"You know, you have people standing on the side," Russell said. "If a car gets out of control, you're going to hit them, might even kill them."

In a statement to NBC Bay Area, Home Depot said it just wants to keep the lots open for customers and associates, and avoid excess traffic in and out.

Police said the joint plan is to monitor legal traffic and then close off access altogether after stores close.

"We've assigned certain officers that have specialized training to be in the area of our known areas where we have car meets just to make sure they're obeying the law and that the vehicles that they're driving are safe to be on the road," Union City Police Sgt. Steve Mendez said. 

Some business owners interviewed by NBC Bay Area say a sideshow does not usually hurt business since it is mostly a late-night activity.

"As long as it's not hurting anybody, or doing anything bad," said Kevin Singh, a store owner. "They're having fun, right? So what's bad about it?"

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