SACRAMENTO -- The spree of illegal sideshows that took over Sacramento roadways over the weekend, including one that shut down a stretch of Highway 50 for 20 minutes, are now believed to be related to each other, according to Sacramento police.
Authorities say at least five separate incidents were reported from Saturday night into Sunday morning.
In the light of day Monday, the roads were back open and the speeding was gone, but the tire marks from the sideshows that shut down a Sacramento freeway, intersections, and parking lots were hard to miss.
Sacramento police say they respond to at least one sideshow a month, however, this weekend’s event was much larger.
Officer Eddie Macaulay with the Sacramento Police Department described the first event reported Saturday night as a “ large scale, organized street racing, reckless driving, sideshow-type activity in the city, this was an abnormally large event.”
According to police, the night kicked off with an estimated 500-car, 1,000-person event on Power Inn at 10:30 Saturday. One person was arrested and 50 others were ticketed.
Police say from there, people moved onto another location until police arrived, then another location. And so forth throughout the night.
The most shocking sideshows played out across six lanes of traffic on westbound Highway 50 before the Stockton Boulevard exit. Cars did donuts across lanes of traffic as rows of spectators looked on and behind them lines of cars were stuck behind the backup.
The calls to 911 came in about 2:20 Sunday morning.
However, CHP says they were tied up responding to a fatal accident, and another serious injury DUI crash and did not make it to this scene before it cleared.
However they told FOX40 they later encountered several other people on or near Highway 50 believed to be involved in the sideshow and cited them.
Investigators acknowledge it can be hard to hold the people involved in sideshows accountable but say the more concrete evidence they have the better. They encourage anyone who encounters sideshows to report the events to police and provide license plate numbers and photo and video evidence if available.
Law enforcement also point out that it is not only illegal to take part in sideshows but also to attend. Fines range from $400 to $1,000.