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Santa Rosa Police Department
Saturday August 6th, 2022 :: 05:11 p.m. PDT


Santa Rosa Police Department & Local Law Enforcement Partners Break-up Illegal Sideshow Activities

The Santa Rosa Police Department continues to take a proactive approach in monitoring, anticipating, and enforcement of the laws pertaining to illegal and dangerous sideshows.  The SRPD continues to add additional officers on overtime to address sideshows, and partner with other local law enforcement agencies for mutual aid when sideshows start anywhere in Sonoma County.  

On August 5, 2022, at 11:30 p.m., Santa Rosa Police Officers received reports of sideshow activity in the area of Petaluma Hill Road and Frazier Avenue.  The illegal activity could be heard by SRPD officers from the fairgrounds as the fair was closing for the night.  Additionally, SRPD dispatchers received multiple callers from the neighborhood reporting sideshow activity in the area.  All available SRPD officers arrived on scene where approximately 20 vehicles driving recklessly, engaging in sideshow activity.  Officers observed 60 to 70 spectators watching the sideshow in the intersection. Due to several officers quickly arriving on scene, the crowd dispersed and left the area within minutes.  A mutual aid request was made by the on-duty sergeant. The California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department immediately responded with several officers and deputies to assist with sideshow activity for the remainder of the evening.
At approximately, 12:05 a.m., a Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy advised SRPD the sideshow relocated to 5th and Davis Street. The crowd grew to about 100 spectators with roughly 20 vehicles driving recklessly in the intersection.  Since the roadway was narrow in that area, numerous mutual aid law enforcement resources along with SRPD officers responded and were able to shut down the intersection and all surrounding streets to keep the sideshow participants contained.  Several vehicles attempted to drive the wrong direction and officers were forced to block them in with patrol vehicles to prevent head-on collisions.  Multiple sideshow participants were pulled over, contacted, and arrested.  Approximately nine vehicles were towed and impounded for 30 days.  Additionally, CHP assisted with towing of illegally parked vehicles. 
Towing several vehicles took nearly two hours while several spectators remained at the scene.  At one point during the tow process, spectators began taunting officers and started throwing coins, rocks, and water bottles in their direction.  There were no officers injured as a result.  A coordinated exit route for spectators in their vehicles was successful with Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputies blocking-off side streets and forcing all vehicles to go onto N/B Hwy 101.  The entire area was eventually opened up and no further sideshows occurred.  SRPD and our law enforcement partners were able to also prevent and dissuade additional illegal sideshows from setting up in any other intersections in Santa Rosa.
In coordination and partnership with Sonoma County law enforcement agencies, the countywide protocol for conducting enforcement of illegal sideshows activity was invoked. It will continue to be invoked anytime SRPD or our law enforcement partners suspect illegal sideshow activities will occur.  

Public safety is our priority.  The Santa Rosa Police Department will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a proactive enforcement response to prevent illegal sideshow activity in Sonoma County.  The Santa Rosa Police Department is grateful for the community members that provided important and relevant information and for our local law enforcement partners who assisted in preventing or dissuading the illegal sideshow participants and spectators.

SRPD has zero tolerance for illegal sideshow activity. The police department is committed to stopping illegal and dangerous sideshows from occurring in Santa Rosa. Anyone participating in illegal sideshows should anticipate being arrested and having their vehicle impounded.

Media inquiries may be directed to Lieutenant Jeneane Kucker at [email protected] or 707-543-3573.

Santa Rosa Police Department
965 Sonoma Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95404

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 707-543-3600

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