"Sideshows" a concern in Fresno area

Fresno Police made 10 reckless driving arrests over weekend

Fresno, Calif. - Fresno Police and the California Highway Patrol are again working together to find ways to put a stop to dangerous and illegal vehicle exhibitions in parking lots and on Valley roadways.

"They call it a sideshow, but we tie it all in together with street racing and reckless driving is really what that translates to me," said Fresno Police Lieutenant Richard Tucker

Over the weekend Fresno Police and California Highway Patrol officers were dispatched to several locations in Fresno. There were reports of large crowds in the street and reckless driving. These illegal vehicle exhibitions that often shut down streets and intersections are called "sideshows".

Fresno Police officers say they are arresting people involved in these "sideshows". This weekend they made at least ten arrests tied to reckless driving and street racing, but even with those arrests some families fear they live too close to the action.

"They race each other on city, or county roadways, they spin their tires whether it is doing doughnuts or driving recklessly. And it is against the law what they are doing," said Fresno Police Lieutenant Richard Tucker.

"Sideshows" are nothing new to Fresno Police.

"it has been a trend. We actually saw it disappear for awhile and now it's making it's way back and I think social media plays into that," said Lt. Tucker. 

Over the weekend officers believe social media was used to coordinate meet ups at all of these different locations in the city and county of fresno for sideshows as people involved tried to stay one step ahead of police.

Families living along Herndon in west Fresno worry these roads are turning into a raceway at night.
"Trying to street race, you can hear the burn outs. It's just a matter of time before something major happens," said Joseph, who lives in the area with his young children. 

Last fall Fresno Police officers saw what can happen if these sideshows get out of hand. They were called to the intersection of North and Orange Avenues in Southwest Fresno. Dozens of people were caught on camera attacking a CHP cruiser.

"What you saw in that video was absolute lawlessness there," said Lt. Tucker.

Investigators say cell phone videos will continue to pop up on the internet despite the awareness of police.

"I do believe there is a part of them that thinks it won't happen to me, or I won't get caught and my message to them is you will," said Lt. Tucker.

If drivers are caught in the multi-agency crackdown on reckless driving they will be arrested and have their vehicle impounded for 30 days. Officers tell me people involved in these cases have been a mix of locals and people from other parts of the state.

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