[7/15/19 UPDATE] – The law caught up with several more people accused of participating in the vehicle sideshow on northbound Interstate 5 in Sacramento on Saturday.
So far, seven people have been arrested, 27 citations have been issued, and nine cars have been impounded in connection with the incident, according to the CHP.
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – On Saturday nights, some roads in Sacramento became a playground for stunt drivers taking part in sideshows.
The first sideshow took place around 3:50 p.m. at National Drive and North Market Boulevard. Hours later, the largest of the night blocked the North Bound lanes of I-5 near Florin Road where it brought traffic to a stop.
Tyrone Hopkins a local truck driver has seen it before.
“I mean, we all been young, so I just seen youngsters being themselves doing what they do having fun,” said Hopkins.
Usually organized on social media, the sideshows are spontaneous and they happen so fast enforcement from a law enforcement standpoint is difficult.
“It’s a challenge,” said Ofc. Marcus Basquez, a Sacramento Police Department spokesperson.
“When we have maybe a few patrol vehicles that show up and if you have a crowd of 40 or 50, I mean, obviously we can only catch one or two or whoever,” said Basquez.
On Saturday, Sacramento police assisted the CHP whose jurisdiction falls on freeways. Some on-ramps were blocked and some cars were towed but Basquez added the illegal drivers are always watching for police.
“Once we show up and arrive on scene typically the crowd will usually disperse and then it’s just a matter of trying to find out or locating who was responsible for the sideshow,” said Basquez.
Hopkins says kids will be kids and there are other places to get behind the wheel and spin donuts.
“They got other places they can do, empty parking lots like this they can go do some stuff,” he said.
It’s the crowds of spectators that congregate on busy roads that concern police — combined with cars that can lose control at any time.
“The dangers come with the spectators or people that are participating in these sideshows,” Said Basquez.
Hopkins, who uses area roads for work, has a problem when stalled traffic because of illegal sideshows cuts into his workday.
“I do drive an 18-wheeler and it is a problem only if I’m on a time-based load sometimes. I look at it and say look at them youngsters they acting crazy,” he said.
Sacramento police say the sideshows are rare in this area and they don’t have a task force. Instead, they rely on their air support units, mutual aid from the sheriff’s department, and CHP to end the activity before it gets out of control.
Participants and spectators of sideshows can face heavy fines and drivers risk having their cars impounded.