A planned enforcement effort by the Turlock Police Department on sideshows in the community resulted in vehicles towed, misdemeanor charges and more than a hundred tickets issued to drivers.
The enforcement effort was carried out over the last two weeks with the majority happening over the last week after sideshow attendees mobbed and vandalized a Turlock Fire Department engine.
The effort was primarily concentrated at Monte Vista Crossings because that has been the area where most of the complaints have originated. The Turlock Police Department said they had gotten complaints from citizens about speeding, damaged property, illegal fireworks and disregard for public safety.
The enforcement efforts resulted in 184 tickets issued, 10 vehicles towed, 15 misdemeanor arrests and 15 vehicles sent to the state Referee. Those vehicles had unlawful emissions modifications that must be checked by the state Bureau of Automotive Repair, according to the police department.
The problems of sideshows in Turlock are not a new issue, but was recently thrust into the spotlight after video circulated of an incident involving a TFD engine on May 5. The engine was returned to the station after a call for service when it was mobbed by several individuals that began pulling equipment from the engine. The video shows the fire engine with lights and siren activated slowly trying to move through the intersection at W. Monte Vista and Berkeley avenues. People run alongside the engine, climb on top and the side and start pulling off equipment, including the fire hose.
None of the fire firefighters were injured during the incident and were quickly able to retrieve the equipment, which allowed the engine to be back in service within a minute.
Turlock Police officers responded to the scene, but most of the participants had already moved on to other locations. The police department has released some images of the people seen on the fire engine in the hope tips will lead to their identification.
Sideshows originated in Oakland in the 1980s. The participants take over a particular area and perform stunts like spinning out around a crowd of onlookers. The spots taken over can vary from a parking lot to a deserted street to a busy intersection to a highway.
The events are usually organized on social media with locations closely guarded. The enforcement efforts could be having an impact because some of the Instagram profiles that shared sideshow videos and events have removed all their posts.
Some communities have sought to stop sideshows by passing local ordinances that make it illegal to watch a sideshow or street race.
The police department stated the enforcement efforts will continue as long as sideshows are still held in town.
People with information regarding the sideshows can contact the Turlock Police Department’s Tip Line at (209) 668-5550 extension 6780 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Turlock Police Department is an active participant in the Crime Stoppers Program. Callers can leave an anonymous tip by calling Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636 and may be eligible for a cash reward.