Large sideshows block traffic in East Bay over the weekend

Bay Area

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KRON) – Large scale sideshows blocked traffic in three separate East Bay cities over the weekend, blocking traffic and slowing medical emergency responses.

Two of those sideshows broke out in Antioch. Neighbors were shocked by their size.

“They literally created a circle of about 200 people,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said. 

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe surveys the tire marks left behind from Sundays sideshows.

The police department estimates 150 cars were involved, blocking traffic at two separate intersections in town.

“I’ve never seen one of that size. I’ve probably seen those sizes on television. You know, they’re something of a disturbance in Oakland, San Francisco, or in the inter-core of the Bay Area. So, we rarely have anything like that out here,” Thorpe said. 

The large group made its way from Pittsburg, through Antioch, and eventually ending up in Brentwood.

Mayor Thorpe says the Antioch Police Department could not move in on the sideshows because at the time, they were outnumbered.

Resources were stretched thin — because officers were responding to another incident that required mutual aid response, meaning multiple law enforcement agencies were tied up.

“We did have a drone that captured a lot of footage and a lot of license plates, so we’re currently investigating this and those who were responsible for this will be held accountable,” Thorpe said. 

Thorpe says smaller scale sideshows are a bigger issue in his city.

Mostly young people spinning donuts on city streets.

At the next city council meeting, he says he intends to propose adding roundabouts at some residential intersections to slow drivers down or potentially add raised pavement markers to deter sideshows.

Neighbors who witnessed Sunday’s activity say anything will help.

“I was afraid for somebody else, you know, like somebody to fly out of their car, or a car that’s losing control. It was bad. It was bad and you couldn’t even see with all the smoke,” a resident said. 

“Some people just want to do their own thing. They don’t care about the cost or the annoyance to the people and everything like that their own thing,” Louis Garret, another resident, said. 

Everyone survived this time — but sideshows always have the potential to be deadly.

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