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Illegal side shows: Contra Costa County cracks down on Memorial Day weekend


ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) — Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe has a message for anyone planning a sideshow in his city over Memorial Day weekend: “Don’t come to Antioch. You’re going to be found and you will be held accountable.”

The intersection of Lone Tree Way and Bluerock Drive continues to be a hot spot for sideshows, evident with the skid marks lining the intersection. It is also a crossroads very close to homes.

VIDEO: Residents of downtown SF awakened by a big show with hundreds of spectators

“Oh, they’re awful! I can hear them from my bedroom window. And I didn’t know they were so close,” says Alishia Penn. His family lives within walking distance of the intersection.

She not only talks about the noise, but that it is also dangerous.

“It’s so disheartening because it’s the main artery of our community. We have a fire station right there. What if someone has a medical emergency and needs the fire station? They want to come here act like total buffoons and hold the community hostage,” Penn says.

Some cities like Pittsburg have implemented traffic measures to reduce the number of drivers doing donuts, such as permanent traffic cones to block the intersection. But the city is teaming up with Antioch, Brentwood and Oakley to quell large-scale events over the holiday weekend.

WATCH: Video shows spinning cars during San Francisco show, blocking Bay Bridge entrance

Mayor Thorpe says side shows have a history in the Bay Area dating back to the 1980s. But he adds that the tricks and risks pilots take have become more dangerous, which also puts spectators at risk.

“It’s become more dangerous because people are turning to cellphones and wanting to film everything that’s going on. And so that’s what makes it extremely dangerous is obviously people are getting too close” , said Thorpe.

He says police are taking proactive steps to stop sideshows before they even start.

“Actually last Saturday there was a side show scheduled. We cut it, closed it and it didn’t happen,” he says.

VIDEO: They’re Calling The ‘Botts’ Dots’ And They Could Be The Solution To Deterring Sideshows From Oakland

The mayor warns that citations and fines this weekend can cost show conductors thousands of dollars and that vandals will be caught.

“It might not happen that night, but our drone technology and our cameras that we have all over the city are going to find you. And you’re going to be held accountable,” Mayor Thorpe says.

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