Police crackdown on dangerous ‘sideshow’ activity in Fresno

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Fresno Police say sideshows have become a problem this time of year. 

Sometimes hundreds watch on as entire intersections in Fresno have been shut down, due to drivers performing illegal tricks.

Police say Summer time is usually when they see an increase.

Though they say this Summer has been steady with the number of sideshows, compared to previous years.

We got a peek at how police’s Skywatch Aircrew breaks them up. Even though we did not see any activity Saturday night, police say they are always alert.

Police say social media plays a big role on spreading the word to out-of-towners.

“It seems like most of them come from outside the Fresno area that on social media they’ll tell each other what they’re going to do and a lot of times we might have a heads up,” says Sgt. Larry Hustedde, Fresno Police Skywatch Aircrew.

Hustedde took us up in the air to see where these sideshows happen often in the City of Fresno.

This is one spot, near Alluvial and Palm bluffs.Another area, Granite Court, near Jensen and Cherry Avenues. You can see the skid marks from the tire burn outs.

“A couple of weeks ago they just sort of appeared and starting shutting down intersections, they started up on Church and the 99 area and then went up on Clovis and Jensen and shut down the entire intersection and started spinning donuts and people were out on foot, probably about 100 were out on foot,” Hustedde explained.

He says having a helicopter works to their advantage in these cases.

Hustedde says their response time is about 37 seconds. “What we’ll do is identify the vehicles involved and we’ll follow those particular vehicles and have officers pull them over,” he says.

Police say these sideshows even take place on top of the spiral garage building in downtown Fresno.

You can see the residue from the illegal activity. Police say they break up about three to four a month and that’s just the few that are reported.But the danger isn’t just for the drivers.

“The big danger is the people is the people standing there watching because these cars come so close to them and they’re burning their tires and everything,” Hustedde explained.

Police say if caught drivers will get a citation and also get their cars impounded for 30 days,  all which could cost thousands. 

Police say if you see one of these, to report it.

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