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Illegal Oakland Sideshow Takes Over Corner Near Police Headquarters

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Another weekend, another rowdy sideshow in Oakland. It didn't take long for the police to get to the scene since it happened a mile away from police headquarters.

Witnesses said the sideshow drivers and the large crowd took over the intersection of Adeline and 5th Streets in West Oakland for about 30 minutes. Aside from the spectators, they said the drivers were putting on a show for the two Oakland police officers who were watching from 1,000 feet away.

UPDATE: Oakland Police Tow 4 Vehicles, Recover Firearm During Weekend Sideshow Activity

"Oh, I'm just shocked that I guess, I figure anything goes," said witness Jeff Lester, who was parked nearby and couldn't leave.

"I do think (the officers) were watching. And if it started to get really violent, they probably would've called more people in. So I don't know. I think it's a tough situation," said another witness Sacha Lepley.

It happened on Saturday at 5 p.m. Lester said about 150 people watched and cheered.

"Three cars (spinning donuts) at a time sometimes," he said. "You thought they were going to crash into one another or crash into the crowd. I was worried about somebody getting killed from a car crashing into the crowd."

Some of the passengers in the cars could be seen in cellphone videos hanging out on the doors as the cars were spinning.

"Actually (the drivers were) showing a lot of skill in it overall, but I think it could go badly wrong," said Lepley.

"It was incredibly loud. My (5-year-old) son was really scared," said Lester.

Witnesses said some people also tagged nearby properties with graffiti
"It was crazy. It was like anarchy in America," said Lester. "Just complete lawlessness."

Oakland police had ended their sideshow enforcement program due to budget cuts. Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong said they recently received some extra money to do enforcement on certain weekends. He said at least three people were shot and injured at recent sideshows in Oakland after those sideshows ended in gunfire.

KPIX 5 reached out to the Oakland police late Saturday evening to ask about their enforcement strategy and why the officers stayed back in the latest reported sideshow. No one from the police department was immediately available for a response.

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