The East Bay saw three sideshows in a two-and-half-hour span between 1 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning, and at one in Oakland's Redwood Heights, one of the cars was left consumed by flames.
At 6 p.m. Saturday night, the Oakland Police Department put out a very stern warning on Twitter that they would not be tolerating any of that sideshow nonsense this weekend. “For the safety of our community, OPD will have additional resources on the streets this weekend to enforce illegal sideshow activity. If you take part in illegal sideshows in Oakland, your vehicle could end up like this: towed and seized with a 30-day hold,” they said. This came with a sizzle reel video of all the cars they’ve recently impounded.
For the safety of our community, OPD will have additional resources on the streets this weekend to enforce illegal sideshow activity.— Oakland Police Dept. (@oaklandpoliceca) August 13, 2023
If you take part in illegal sideshows in Oakland, your vehicle could end up like this: towed and seized with a 30-day hold. pic.twitter.com/Uqd6vaZIbe
The stern warning had little effect. NBC Bay Area reports there were three sideshows in the East Bay once the wee hours arrived Sunday morning; two of them in Oakland, and a third some 20 miles northeast in Antioch.
That Antioch sideshow was the first to start burning rubber, with NBC Bay Area estimating it started around 1 a.m. Sunday, and KRON4 reporting it “lasted about 25 minutes before police arrived.” KTVU’s Henry Lee adds above, “Watch as man clinging on back of red Camaro is flung to the ground,” which happens at about the :56 mark, and elicits “Ooohs” from the assembled audience.
Overnight sideshow at West Grand & Frontage in West Oakland pic.twitter.com/0sGRikcAxm— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) August 13, 2023
The second sideshow was in Oakland about an hour later, per NBC Bay Area, on West Grand Avenue near Frontage Road. KTVU’s Lee posted video of that one too, and is clearly developing some reliable sources in the sideshow video community.
This Hyundai Elantra was tagged & set on fire during another predawn sideshow, this time at Redwood & Mountain in Oakland hills. @oaklandpoliceca dispersed 50 cars & 100 spectators. @OaklandFireCA doused flames pic.twitter.com/KaQ6TmuQ1k— Henry K. Lee (@henrykleeKTVU) August 13, 2023
And in a 3:30 a.m. sideshow in Oakland’s Redwood Heights (again, seen above via Henry Lee), one car was left abandoned and on fire. “This Hyundai Elantra was tagged & set on fire during another predawn sideshow,” Lee tweeted. Police estimated 50-100 people gathered for that one, and were quickly dispersed.
Hoodline speculates that the recent spike in sideshows could be because of casual drivers taking over a scene that was previously composed of mostly hardened drug dealers, or simply because social media offers the opportunity for the drivers to gain viral fame.
Image: Adrian Balasoiu via Unsplash