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Police Cars Damaged, Two Arrested in Stockton Sideshows

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STOCKTON --

Stockton police officers were outfitted in riot gear on Sunday night.

For at least two hours they worked to gain control of an unruly crowd.

For Marc Picetti and his wife Brenda, it was an unsavory experience while they were out for a quick bite.

"I mean, there was a crowd in the middle of the street, fighting and everything else ... cops came from every which direction,” he said.

On top of the violence, Picetti said he also saw an illegal sideshow.

"Black SUV of some sort, he was doing doughnuts in the street and took off towards Highway 5,” he said.

He and his wife worked quickly to get out of the area.

“Plain and simple, it was time to go. The cops get going in that mode you move or you get hit," Picetti said.

Officer Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department said the crowd began forming after two Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the city ended.

"We started getting reports of cars doing burn outs in the intersections and people, just people hanging out in the street corners,” Silva said.

When officers tried to break up the crowd, Silva said some officers were hit with rocks and bottles. Six patrol cars were damaged and two people were arrested.

“If we're able to identify who these people are, they will be arrested for assault of a deadly weapon because you just cannot throw rocks and bottles at law enforcement officers,” Silva said.

After officers were able to control the situation on MLK Boulevard, another sideshow formed at the Kmart on Mariposa Road.

Silva said once officers arrived, the drivers began to leave.

“Innocent people could get hurt because we have seen and we've heard tragedies where these cars lose control,” Silva said.

Less than 24 hours later, the streets were a lot calmer. But there are still reminders of a celebration that turned into chaos.

As for the Picettis, they said they’re just glad they got out of the streets before it got worse.

"Go over there with all them riot cops? No... that's dumb,” Marc Picetti said.

The Stockton Police Department said their detectives will be reviewing surveillance footage and once they’re able to read the license plates from the cars in the sideshows, there might be some arrests and car seizures.

They will also work with event organizers at next year’s Cinco de Mayo festivals to ensure that there are enough police officers in the area to prevent large crowds from taking over the streets.