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Weekend sideshows in San Francisco spark concern among Mission residents

Bay Area residents worried about safety, traffic impacts of sideshows
Bay Area residents worried about safety, traffic impacts of sideshows 03:10

SAN FRANCISCO — Bay Area residents said they are concerned after multiple sideshows were reported this weekend across the in San Francisco and Oakland, including on Valencia Street in the Mission District.

"It was about 3 a.m. Sunday morning, and I assumed they probably arranged that to meet at 3 a.m. on a sideshow," said James Phil, a resident of San Francisco's Mission.

Phil described an unusual night in his neighborhood, which he has called home for the past nine years. Dozens of cars were seen performing donuts near Valencia and Cesar Chavez Streets. The aftermath left residents like Phil unsettled.

Video shows dozens at sideshows in San Francisco, Oakland 03:45

"I was asleep. I wasn't partying, and I woke up. And my neighbors woke up, and one of my neighbors is new and he was like, 'What's going on?' I'm hearing like EMT going and police sirens. It was unsettling," Phil explained.

His main concern is the proximity to the CPMC Mission Bernal Campus Emergency Room.

"I mean they're doing this at 3 a.m. Not really many people around, but there could be an emergency vehicle nearby. It could disrupt things," Phil noted.

According to Phil, the police managed to scare the sideshow participants away, but it took at least 15 minutes. He believes the response should have been faster.

In a pre-recorded video, San Francisco Police Department Chief Bill Scott explained the situation.

"San Francisco Police Department learned about the meet up location and was standing by. Unfortunately when confronted by the SFPD, the group splintered into several groups and proceeded to conduct dangerous driving to other locations across the city," Chief Scott stated.

Chief Scott added that the protocol is to impound those vehicles, indicating that the investigation is ongoing.

Phil acknowledged that sideshows are not uncommon in the city, but he hopes for a proactive plan to intercept such activities before they escalate.

"The cops showed up. I just don't know what else can they do about it, 'cause I believe they can't pursue or chase anybody. Because we have the same problem with vehicles and people going up and down on motorcycles during the day, doing wheelies without helmets," Phil concluded.

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