SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — As temperatures heat up, Sacramento police are expecting an increase of sideshows and warn they will be cracking down not only on drivers involved but also spectators.
This year they’re hoping to crackdown on sideshows quicker and ensure people involved get prosecuted.
Police-worn body camera videos show just how chaotic sideshows can get.
“And as the weather begins to warm up we tend to see a little bit more of these reports of sideshows just because people are out and about and the weather is nice,” said Officer Karl Chan, from Sacramento Police Department.
Sacramento police say so far this year, at least 93 people have been cited, with 49 more arrested for misdemeanors related to sideshows in the city.
At least 47 cars have been impounded for 30 days, seven vehicles were seized on warrants and there have been at least two felony gun arrests from sideshows in 2021 according to the police department.
Officers say they’re making an effort to follow up on sideshow investigations tracking down drivers and cars involved even if they’re able to escape the night of.
“Actually obtaining a warrant to where your vehicle can be seized at a later date,” Chan said.
Police say spectators will also be held accountable.
“There’s actually a city code,” Chan said. “Specific to sideshow related activity that prevents anybody from actually participating in driving, but also spectators as well.”
Sideshows can turn dangerous, a 21-year-old had to have brain surgery after he was hit by a car pulling doughnuts at an intersection in Natomas in September 2020.
“It was really hard to take that phone call,” said Leo Dubinetskiy whose son got hit during a sideshow.
Dubinetskiy’s son Austin was the victim hit during a sideshow in September.
He described to FOX40 the emotional toll his son’s recovery took on the family.
“I know it’s really hard to see him go through this, yeah it’s really emotional, every time you’re looking at him,” Dubinetskiy said.
Chan says that case is still under investigation and considered a hit-and-run.
Officers say a car fire started as the result of another sideshow gone wrong.
The people inside were able to escape unharmed but videos show just how dangerous sideshows can be.
“If anybody does see a gathering that’s going to become some type of sideshow or some type of activity in a parking lot, don’t hesitate to notify us,” Chan said.
Sacramento police say suspect vehicles will be tracked from the air throughout Northern California.
Oftentimes police call in other agencies such as the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol to track cars leaving a sideshow.