Sideshows have been around for many years in Oakland, but this one brought the illegal activity to a new level. One resident said they could hear it happening from four miles away.
Somehow, a group of cars managed to stop traffic on busy Interstate 880, spin donuts for several minutes, then race away before the CHP could do anything about it. It was a sideshow. Several cars were doing donuts at high speeds in the middle of the day, in the middle of the freeway near the Oakland Coliseum.
It forced traffic to a standstill for several minutes until police started to arrive. It was also recorded by numerous passersby and perhaps participants who posted their video on YouTube and other forms of social media.
"They were driving recklessly. It was at high speeds. It was dangerous. It put peoples' lives in danger. That's not OK," CHP Sgt. Diana McDermott said. The CHP is asking for help identifying the cars and drivers pictured in the online videos and they say they've received numerous complaints from citizens who say they've seen enough. "I think it's terrible. I mean, what were they thinking?" Oakland resident Jackie Thompson said.
The cars are clearly visible and some have rather distinctive features, but investigators need more information like names and license plate numbers. "That's the answer, is that we as a community need to address the issue. Family, parents, everybody needs to get involved. It's not necessarily just the highway patrol. You need to speak out," McDermott said.
"We've got to find a solution for these young people. We're supposed to be older and wiser and we need to find some way to channel that," Oakland resident Grace Thrower told ABC7 News. Cleve Moore, 89, has lived his entire life in Oakland. "They didn't do that," he said laughingly when asked what kids used to do for fun in his day.
The CHP is taking this matter very seriously. They say they absolutely will not tolerate an encore and are reminding people that it takes just a split-second for a car to travel out of control and seriously injure or kill someone.