A Bay Area city not too far from Sacramento saw hundreds of unruly drivers who held a violent and raucous illegal sideshow in their community over the weekend.
As officers closed in to make arrests, people who were taking part in the sideshow left several vehicles damaged -- including at least one police cruiser -- in their getaway.
The chaotic scene unfolded in the Solano County community of Vallejo, which has turned into a magnet for illegal sideshows on weekend nights in recent months.
The incidents frequently involve hundreds of people and their cars, gunfire, and sheer bedlam.
Locals have complained about how their neighborhoods are frequently taken over by the mobs of oftentimes drunken, high, and armed spectators and participants. Drivers who attended the Saturday sideshow in Vallejo are accused of preventing officers from responding. Some even lobbed items at officers, escalating the violence to assault on peace officers.
"Six people are facing felony charges after participating in a large sideshow that erupted into chaos on Saturday night," Vallejo Police stated in a media release. "VPD officers responded to multiple calls of sideshow activity at Tennessee St. and Maple Ave. and Sonoma Blvd. and Lemon St. Officers arrived to find more than 100 people blocking an intersection to watch cars spinning donuts. The crowd immediately threw objects at the six officers and sergeant that responded and refused to disperse. One of the windows of a VPD patrol vehicle was also shattered. CHP Air Support arrived to assist VPD officers with two pursuits that resulted from the sideshow. One of the vehicles was deliberately blocking officers to prevent a response and committed a hit-and-run while fleeing from officers. The other vehicle was spinning donuts."
Even police were left stunned.
"Common regard for our fellow community members should be a top priority for a city already in distress," Chief of Police Shawny K. Williams said in a written statement. "It is disheartening that participants and spectators alike lack such regard."
Police identified the six people arrested on suspicion of various crimes committed during the evening of chaos.
"Six people were arrested on felony charges, including the hit-and-run driver," police stated. "The suspects arrested are 26-year-old Eric Cacho of Sacramento, 22-year-old Devon Dipinto of Sacramento, 26-year-old Cesar Dominguez of Sacramento, 24-year-old Mario Velasco of Sacramento, 21-year-old Angelo Landford of Fairfield, and 19-year-old Payton Pinkela of Fairfield. There were multiple, separate charges among those arrested including: hit and run, evading police, sideshow aiding and abetting, reckless driving, and conspiracy."
Sideshows have become major problems in several Bay Area communities including Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose, Concord, Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Richmond, Antioch, Pittsburg, and parts of the Sacramento area.
“We cannot tolerate this lawlessness in our city,” Chief Williams said in the written statement. “Sideshows can cause serious injury and can be deadly. Blocking intersections prevents our citizens from traveling safely and diverts our precious resources from helping other people in need.”