San Jose police step up security measures for Cinco de Mayo festivities
SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Starting Wednesday, San Jose Police is staffing up for the Cinco de Mayo holiday, bringing in 30 extra police officers to man downtown and the city's east side. Downtown businesses on Santa Clara Street are concerned the partying could get out of control.
Vandals have broken storefront windows before and revelers could take their political views to the streets.
Earlier this week, cars draped with Mexican flags could be seen cruising in downtown San Jose. Some cars were peeling out, spinning donuts and blaring music blasting presidential hopeful Donald Trump.
"Probably will see people with banners and signs talking about Trump," said Alfredo Diaz who owns Diaz Mens Wear.
Diaz said a few years back, all his store windows were vandalized on May 5. He plans to stay late this year to protect his business.
"People use Cinco de Mayo to harm others, to come vandalize and fight against each other," said Diaz. "I don't understand. Cinco de Mayo should be celebrated in Mexico not here."
Two years ago, a near riot broke out in downtown with people jumping on buses. Police closed down Santa Clara Street and made several arrests.
"Merge officers, metro officers, gang suppression officers will be out in force," said San Jose Police Officer Albert Morales.
From Wednesday through Sunday, 30 to 40 additional officers from the department's special operations division will be on patrol. Playoff action may bring even more foot traffic.
"We have the Sharks and Warriors," said Officer Morales. "Obviously we understand that. The implications are certain areas will be impacted with fans but again we use this as an opportunity to let people know if you are out there to celebrate responsibly."
"Cinco de Mayo week is like the Holy Grail for Mexican restaurants," said Jorge Sanchez, owner of Chacho's Restaurant.
Chacho's Mexican Restaurant is looking forward to the holiday but also on guard hiring extra in-house security.
"If there's people that are inebrieted we don't let them in, people who come with attitudes we don't let them in either," said Sanchez.