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Santa Rosa police disrupt 2 major sideshows Friday night

SANTA ROSA - Santa Rosa Police Department officers impounded nine cars and arrested multiple drivers that participated in Friday night sideshow activities, the department announced on Saturday.

At 11:30 p.m., officers responded to Petaluma Hill and Frazier Avenue after fairgoers heard sideshow activity from the Sonoma County fairgrounds. On the scene, police said they saw 60 to 70 spectators watching 20 cars driving recklessly in the intersection. Upon their arrival, officers said those watching and participating in the sideshow left within minutes.

At 12:05 a.m., the Sonoma County Sheriff's Deputy notified Santa Rosa police that the sideshow moved to 5th and Davis Street, now with about 100 spectators. Alongside other law enforcement agencies, the department successfully closed off the intersection to contain the participants. Officers said they arrested multiple participants.

Police said impounding nine vehicles took nearly two hours. During the process, spectators threw objects like coins, rocks and water bottles at officers, according to police, though no officer was injured.

Spectators were allowed to exit via Highway 101. No other sideshows occurred in the area that evening, said authorities.

"Public safety is our priority. The Santa Rosa Police Department will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a proactive enforcement response to prevent illegal sideshow activity in Sonoma County," said the police department in a press release. 

"The Santa Rosa Police Department is grateful for the community members that provided important and relevant information and for our local law enforcement partners who assisted in preventing or dissuading the illegal sideshow participants and spectators."

The department says it's continuing to add additional officers on overtime to address sideshows, and partner with other local law enforcement agencies for mutual aid when sideshows start anywhere in Sonoma County.    

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