Enforcement results in numerous arrests, 60 citations issued and 55 vehicles towed
By Sgt. Rick Smith, Antioch Police Field Services – Patrol
Information was developed that a large scale “sideshow” event was planned to occur in Eastern Contra Costa County on March 7, 2020. These events have been frequently occurring in the Bay Area and if not addressed by law enforcement they become out of control. These events are extremely dangerous due to the reckless driving that often leads to violence or subjects being severely injured while disrupting the lives of non-involved motorists and residents.
The Antioch Police Department reached out to surrounding law enforcement agencies for assistance in addressing this planned “sideshow” due to the anticipated size of the event and the various locations in Eastern Contra Costa County identified as possible locations of occurrence. The request was answered with officers being sent from all east county agencies to include the Brentwood Police Department, Oakley Police Department, Pittsburg Police Department, California Highway Patrol and Deputies from the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office Air Operations also assisted by having Helicopter STAR 3 overhead in support.
A large “sideshow” event occurred with participants performing dangerous and reckless driving maneuvers in the intersection of Marsh Creek Road and Vasco Road. This is a heavily travelled area of roadway and participants used their vehicles to stop traffic in all directions while performing dangerous driving maneuvers. CCSO STAR 3 was overhead and was able to help responding units stop and arrest numerous participants.
Several of these participants did manage to escape arrest by driving at and around arriving officers on roadway shoulders and into oncoming lanes of traffic. Again, putting numerous citizens and officers in harm’s way. These participants went to other nearby areas and continued to take over intersections by performing dangerous and reckless driving maneuvers.
Thanks to CCSO STAR 3 overhead, several officers were able to break-up this second “Sideshow” event that was occurring along Vineyards Parkway in the City of Brentwood. Several participants were again stopped and arrested with their vehicles being towed.
CCSO STAR 3 helped identify a third “sideshow” location on Balfour Road at American Avenue in the City of Brentwood. Arriving Officers located and arrested several more drivers with their vehicles again being towed.
This continued with a fourth “sideshow” taking place in the City of Antioch at the intersection of A Street and East 18th Street. Officers arrived as the participants were dispersing. Officers were able to identify the involved drivers and vehicles. More vehicles were stopped at various locations with the drivers being arrested and their vehicles being towed.
During these events, a motorcycle was involved and fled from officers when an enforcement stop was attempted. With the assistance of CCSO STAR 3, officers were able to follow the motorcycle safely and later located the rider. The rider was taken into custody with his motorcycle being subsequently towed and stored.
The remaining group of drivers then made their way into the City of Concord. The Concord Police Department was aware of what was occurring in the eastern end of the county. They were able to disperse the remaining participants from their city. After this last incident, it appears the participants stopped for the night and no other incidents were reported.
Nearly 60 citations were issued. 50 of the citations were for infield arrests for reckless driving offenses directly related to “sideshow” activity. This resulted in 55 vehicles being towed and stored. There were three other arrests as a result of this enforcement for charges of driving under the influence, felony evading, and a warrant arrest for robbery.
This type of reckless driving has become a regular occurrence in the Bay Area. It is an extreme danger to those involved and even more of a danger for the un-involved citizens who unfortunately become victims of the illegal activity. Due to the officers pro-actively addressing this issue, several of the involved drivers will now be without their vehicles for an extended period and will also be facing possible fines from the Courts. Officers in Contra Costa County will continue to address these incidents with zero tolerance.
As a reminder to those who choose to show off their driving skills, public roadways are not the proper venues for this type of behavior. There are sanctioned events and locations throughout the state that allow this type of driving. Often rewarding drivers for their skills while providing a safe environment to all.
This preliminary information is made available by the Community Policing Division. Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925) 778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.