Sideshows break out in some unlikely East Bay locations

Several police departments in Union City, Fremont and San Leandro were busy Sunday night responding to illegal sideshow gatherings. Video of one sideshow at Whipple Road and Mission Boulevard in Union City was posted on YouTube.

Jessica Sanchez heard the sound of burning tires outside her apartment window in Union City.

“It was disturbing because the noise is really loud,” said Sanchez “We had every window closed and we were able to hear right through it.”

Video on YouTube of the Union City intersection showed cars spinning in circles performing donuts and burnouts as passengers hung out of windows. The activity happened dangerously close to spectators who cheered them on.

At one point, a Christmas tree was set on fire.

“We aren’t sure if they lit the Christmas tree on fire and just left it out in the middle the roadway as kind of a distraction
for us or if they did it to be destructive,” said Lt. Steven Mendez of Union City Police.

When officers arrived, they were met by a hostile crowd.

“They saw a large amount of vehicles leaving the area and someone threw a bottle at one of the patrol vehicles,” said Lt. Mendez.

Police in neighboring Fremont also responded to similar sideshow activity in North Fremont from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

In San Leandro, a sideshow backed up traffic on Interstate 580 Sunday night. Police in Fremont said sideshows are now a regular occurrence. Police said they are not common in Union City.

“We are kind of mystified as to why that location was selected for this type of activity,” said Lt. Mendez.

Resident Raj GIll said it happens more they'd he'd like, perhaps a hotspot given the intersection is wide with no islands or roadblocks. He called it a nuisance and frustrating.

“It happens all the time, randomly every few weeks,” said Gill. “You can't sleep and it's just bringing wrong culture, bad culture. This is supposed to a nice quiet neighborhood.”

No arrests were made. At this time, police are monitoring the sideshows and said they will remain vigilant and be on the lookout for any more activity.