Oakland police combat resurgence in sideshow activity after officer seriously injured

OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Oakland Police say they are stepping up enforcement patrols and staffing to try to combat a resurgence in sideshow activity in the city.

One officer suffered serious injuries while responding to a large crowd and cars spinning donuts that gathered at the intersection of MacArthur Boulevard and 100th Avenue.

Oakland Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson says the female officer was struck in the face after someone in the crowd threw a bottle at the officers.

"The officer had to undergo emergency surgery where she received over 100 stitches in her face," Watson told KTVU. She said the officer also had to have plastic surgery but will likely suffer some permanent disfigurement.

Watson is asking anyone who might have video or pictures of the bottle throwing incident to contact police. She said they can remain anonymous.

In another incident a freelance photographer told KTVU he was shot at by sideshow participants at a gathering over the weekend at the High Street off-ramp and Interstate 880. His video recorded the sound of what appeared to be gunshots.

Oakland resident Tina Sims says she's fed up with the noise and violence. She says came across a sideshow on Father's Day and saw a young man go down, who may have been hit by a car.

"I said call the ambulance. Call the police. Call everybody because this boy is hurt very bad right here," she told KTVU.

"He fell on the ground. He had blood from his mouth. He had blood on his arm and his legs and he (was) on the ground and nobody would touch him," she said. Sims said eventually an ambulance arrived and took the young man away.

"These are dangerous acts not only for officers but for everyone," said officer Watson.

Oakland police say it will send more officers into the streets on weekends and get help from the Highway Patrol and Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

Watson says officers will also use new strategies.

"We can't share everything with you but what we can say is we're increasing staffing,"

East Oakland resident Mark Anthony told KTVU the police action is counterproductive.

"The police, they come in here and they try to use their force for no reason. It's just kids having fun," he said.

But others strongly disagree, even if they say they're not sure police will ever be able to end the reckless driving and spontaneous street parties.

A man who simply called himself Red rhetorically asked himself that very question.

"I don't know it's been going on a long time. You see it stopping? I don't see it stopping."