Video emerged over the weekend of an Oakland man attempting to scold and yell at participants in a chaotic sideshow, only to get beaten bloody by the crowd — and at that same sideshow a car careened into the crowd and sheered off a fire hydrant, sending a fountain of water into the air.
Whether or not the frequency and popularity of sideshows around the Bay has increased since the pandemic is up for debate. But a particularly chaotic one in West Oakland on Sunday drew the anger of man who may have either lived nearby or was trying to cross through the intersection. The sideshow happened at 34th and Adeline streets, near the Emeryville border.
As you can see in the videos below — WARNING they contain graphic violence — the older man attempts to yell at the participants, and appears to throw an orange bucket at one of the vehicles. He is subsequently punched by one of the drivers, and then beaten and kicked by the mob, ending up in a fetal position on the street with that same bucket over his head.
A man was assaulted after trying to put an end to a Sideshow by throwing a Home Depot bucket at a car in front of Nasan Market on Adeline Street in Oakland, CA 🚨 pic.twitter.com/4ZBO4cF24Z— OAKLAND STATE OF MIND (@YayAreaNews) May 2, 2023
Another angle of the vicious sideshow beating in Oakland as @oaklandpoliceca fled and @MayorShengThao @carroll_fife @APTPaction pretend it never happened. This is appalling. Please do some actual reporting for a change @Oaklandside and let us know how the victim is doing! 🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/IWVQJGolIu— BlueyAnon (@BlueyAnon) May 1, 2023
The man apparently survived, but KTVU reported Monday that they could not confirm the man's condition.
On Tuesday afternoon, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao issued a statement about the incident, and she is now vowing a crackdown on sideshows in the city — a crackdown that so far the Oakland police have been unable or unwilling to execute, and the Oakland City Council recently rejected a proposal to issue citations to spectators, similar to a law passed in San Jose, as a deterrent.
"I am outraged by the images I saw in a video captured during an illegal sideshow that took place yesterday, and demand that the perpetrators of this senseless act of violence be held accountable,” Thao said in the statement. “The brutal attack was just the latest example of how illegal sideshows put our communities at risk and create unsafe environments that can lead to violence.”
And Mayor Thao says that she is working not with the OPD but with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office on a "robust and comprehensive plan to implement sting operations" to crack down on sideshows — which often travel and move across city borders.
UPDATE: @Oakland Mayor @MayorShengThao issues statement on Sunday sideshow at 34th & Adeline in West Oakland in which man who hit car spinning donuts was beaten, kicked & punched. Mayor cites “Botts’ dots,” says she’s working w/@ACSOSheriffs on “robust” plan for sting operations pic.twitter.com/IeS4fjk39d— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) May 2, 2023
As KTVU reported, this same sideshow Sunday at 34th and Adeline featured a Ford Mustang that spun out of control and onto a sidewalk, knocking down a group of spectators — who may have sustained injuries — and knocking a fire hydrant loose in the process.
Oakland police eventually arrived at the site of this sideshow and made one arrest, seized one gun, and impounded two vehicles.
As for the injured man who tried to intervene, the OPD tells the Chronicle that they are "aware of the incident and looking into the matter."
Debates about how to crack down on sideshows have gone on for over a decade, with Oakland leaders especially reluctant to criminalize them when they are, typically, staged in a spirit of clandestine fun, and the most damage that often gets done is just to the cars' tires.
But injuries, deaths, and property damage have occurred, and there are often illegal weapons involved — mostly used to fire celebratory shots into the air.
A video surfaced last month, as seen below, of a man walking a dog entering an intersection where a car was doing donuts, and being violently struck by the car. Again, WARNING, this video is graphic.
Very often, police have difficulty crashing the party because they are outnumbered, and/or the crowd blocks their passage or threatens them.
As Oakland North reports, calls have increased in the last month for the Oakland City Council to intervene and pass new legislation to address sideshows — and Councilmember Noel Gallo tells KTVU he still hopes to pass legislation that will penalize participants and promoters.
In December, the council rejected an ordinance proposed by Gallo that would have made spectators subject to misdemeanor citations — similar to a law passed last year in San Jose that resulted in a one-night sting in November with over 700 citations issued.
The City of Santa Rosa has launched its own crackdown, and in January issued over a dozen arrest warrants stemming from a large sideshow there last July.