By Maria Medina

SAN JOSE (KPIX) — San Jose police and city leaders said Friday they’ve seen a significant rise in sideshows and street races in the past few months.

“I’m upset and really it’s because the racing that we’re seeing is endangering people’s lives,” said city councilmember Maya Esparza. “I get a complaint — at least one, usually several — every single day.”

Both Esparza and councilmember Johnny Khamis said the sideshows aren’t limited to one part of the city.

“It’s been a nightmare,” said Khamis. “We’ve seen crashes increase in our area, bad crashes.”

“These are in neighborhoods next to where families are living and kids are playing,” Esparza said.

The councilmember said she’s even had to warn her constituents not to confront those involved.

“I’ve had to talk to some of my residents out of confronting people, because they had guns pulled on them,” said Ezpara.

Last April, an ordinance was passed, which allows police to fine spectators of sideshows $1,000 or give them up to six months of jail time. Since then, police have arrested more than 320 people.

“If the vehicles are caught, they’re impounded, that could be up to 30 days in the impound, which brings over $3,000 worth of fines,” said Ofc. Steve Aponte. “We had lasers pointed at officers, unknown objects were flung into cars.”

“Don’t come to San Jose, we don’t want to arrest you, we want you to not do it,” said Esparza.

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