OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Oakland Police towed almost 100 vehicles early Sunday morning after illegal sideshow car show activity popped up at over five locations in the city.
Police radios mentioned gunfire after 2 a.m. Sunday morning. Car tires screeched and smoked during the massive sideshow near I-880 in Oakland before moving to other locations.
A video from the California Highway Patrol showed hundreds of people and vehicles gathered, essentially shutting down the intersection.
“We are worried about the public safety component of having illegal sideshow in the city of Oakland,” said Johnna Watson of the Oakland Police Department.
Oakland Police said they heard about the plans for the “Tank to Town” sideshow on social media and were ready with extra officers on the streets to break up the sideshow crowds, which are sometimes known to be violent.
Police said that an officer was hit in the face and that a patrol car was rammed with an officer inside.
Just before 3 a.m. at High Street, officers boxed in almost 100 cars of spectators and participants before impounding and towing all of them.
“If you come to Oakland and participate in illegal sideshow activity, we’re going to be taking your car,” said Watson.
Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo expressed similar disdain for sideshow activity.
“I’m not going to feel sorry for you. I don’t care where you’re from. The law is very clear. You don’t come to do that here in Oakland,” said Gallo.
But community activist Ken Houston said that the current approach by the city and law enforcement isn’t working to curb the illegal sideshows.
“The tactics that the sheriff, OPD and these authorities are using are just a tactic to criminalize more people instead of embracing them,” said Houston.
It took more than seven hours for the tow trucks to impound all of the vehicles. The High Street freeway off-ramp was closed until about noon on Sunday, when the last car was hauled off.