Benicia sideshow leads to one arrest; stores in area robbed and vandalized

One person has been arrested in Benicia for allegedly participating in a sideshow. 

It happened Friday night at about 11:30 p.m. and was a big one, according to police.

Police estimate about 300 people gathered for the illegal sideshow.

A man who works nearby says another sideshow, one much smaller, happened at the same intersection about six weeks ago.

In this recent case, there were no reports of injuries, but there was some damage. 

Daylight revealed fresh burnout tracks left at the intersection of Columbus Parkway and Rose Drive in Benicia, just a stone's throw away from the border with Vallejo.

And when the first officers arrived to break it up, police say some participants approached the officers aggressively. 

"Some of them were carrying bricks and I know at least one of them was carrying a cinder block," said Irma Widjojo, Public Information Officer for Benicia PD.

Widjojo says officers called in help from CHP, Vallejo, and other nearby agencies that assisted in dispersing the crowd, without incident. But at the neighboring CVS store, a broken window and the front door had to be repaired after police say some sideshow participants broke in.

"There were some consumable goods that were taken, snacks and drinks."

Saturday afternoon, a glass company repaired the damage.

"So, we realigned the doors and put them back on the track, so now it’s perfect," said Ashwini Singh, who runs a company called Glass Doctor.

Though hundreds showed up, police say they arrested one person, who is facing charges of reckless driving and possession of a controlled substance. 

They also impounded two cars, one of them seen here.

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A man who came to pick up the owner says the driver did not participate in the sideshow but arrived after and got stuck leaving the driveway because his car was too low.

"I got a call from my friend.  He said he got stuck and I just came here to push him and now they’re going to 30-day his car because they’re saying there was a sideshow or whatever. I don’t know what they’re talking about," said the man who didn’t want to be identified and gave his name as "Too Fast."

Benicia police say there’s an ongoing investigation of the sideshow and, in time, more arrests and vehicle seizures are possible.

"We are looking at all leads.  We are looking at all security cameras that possibly could have captured this," said Widjojo.

Police are also using data from automated license plate readers.

In May of last year, the city council approved $236,000 to lease and install 45 cameras in various parts of the city, and police confirm some were installed at the intersection where the sideshow took place.