Oakland police want to identify those involved in weekend sideshow

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Tuesday, August 19, 2014
OPD wants to identify those involved in organized sideshow
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After three simultaneous sideshows occurred in Oakland, police want to identify those involved in this highly-dangerous crime.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Police are asking for help identifying at least some of those responsible for a brazen, highly organized series of dangerous sideshows that went from the Bay Bridge toll plaza and onto Interstate 580 through Oakland on Sunday.

These sideshows have started in many cases in East Oakland neighborhoods. Police say they're dealing with flash mobs organized very quickly via social media, with large numbers of vehicles, various locations, and groups that are constantly on the move.

"In this case, we had three sideshows going on at the same time. We had one at I-880, one at I-580, one at the Port of Oakland and they're all mobile, so they're constantly moving," Oakland CHP Officer Sean Wilkenfeld said.

"It's crazy because everybody is just doing what they want to do and it's not OK," said one man, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation. "They were just running red lights and doing donuts, just no regard for the law. Anything can happen. Somebody can hit somebody else's car, jump out shooting."

"It's not only becoming more risky and more bold, but also we're seeing fatalities associated," Oakland police spokesperson Officer Johnna Watson said.

In fact, according to the California Highway Patrol, one of Sunday night's sideshow participants, a man on a motorcycle, lost his life in the aftermath of the activity on Interstate 880.

"The motorcyclist was doing upwards of 100 miles an hour with no lights on, blacked out," Castro Valley CHP Officer Eric Thomas said.

The motorcycle exited I-580 at Redwood Road and slammed into an oncoming SUV. The rider's identity has yet to be released.

Police will review video from various sources, including social media, to develop leads and make arrests.