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Sheriff’s Department, CHP Investigate Several Sideshows in Stanislaus County

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MODESTO -- Sideshow videos in Modesto are easy to find on the web. They’re flashy and sometimes set to music, but these underground car shows are also very illegal.

"Saturday night was an unusual incident here in Stanislaus County. We witnessed numerous sideshows,” said Officer Tom Olsen, a spokesman for the CHP Modesto Office.

Olsen said they were overwhelmed with sideshow after sideshow in Stanislaus County on Saturday night.

“They’ve occurred in our area but nothing to this magnitude,” he said.

Olsen added those sideshows shut down parts of Highway 99 on Saturday, including northbound lanes in central Modesto and just some miles away in Keyes, southbound lanes.

In Keyes, drivers could make out the tire marks from the vehicles that purposely did “donuts” just two days prior. And it wasn’t just the spinouts. Investigators said some of the spectators and drivers grew violent.

"Involved people were throwing bottles or rocks towards the deputies and officers as they were trying to do traffic enforcement,” said Deputy Raj Singh with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department.

Eventually the sideshows died down. but they revved on into Sunday afternoon. This time in Patterson.

"Several cars doing donuts right in the parking lot and also notified us that additional cars were arriving,” Singh said.

Singh said several cars drove up to the retired naval base in Newman. They were told by a deputy to leave and then wound up in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Those drivers eventually left only to end up at a park nearby.

“At which point all our traffic units from Modesto were able to get here to Patterson, and we began issuing citations,” Singh said.

They didn’t leave, but soon after, karma caught up to them.

Singh said all-in-all 48 citations, mostly parking violations, were issued. One car was towed and one person was arrested for setting off a firework.

“Kind of came to a mutual agreement, gave them a ticket, and they went on their way,” Singh said.

Singh said while Sunday’s spectators were a lot calmer than the day before, the message is the same: sideshows are illegal and very dangerous.

"[They] think it’s entertaining, it’s fun, it’s funny, but it puts not only themselves at risk but just the general public,” Singh said.

The CHP and Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department are urging anyone who witnesses illegal sideshows to report the cars involved. If caught, the drivers' cars could be impounded and they could get arrested.