ONLY ON ABC7NEWS.COM: Oakland sideshows called "monster," speed-related activity kills driver

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Sunday, June 30, 2019
EXCLUSIVE: Oakland sideshows called 'monster' as violence, crashes continue
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Oakland is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on overtime to prevent illegal sideshow activity.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The night started with strategizing. We muted the orders to protect Oakland Police Department's mission.

"Larger crowds, more people bringing guns to the sideshow events and more violence," said Officer Charles Stone.

Officer Stone is one of dozens of Oakland Police officers on a mandatory sideshow prevention assignment.

RELATED: Sideshow and street racing spectators in San Jose will soon face fines, jail time

Oakland is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year on overtime to prevent this illegal activity.

California Highway Patrol joined efforts with OPD to flood the streets with officers and prevent sideshows.

"It's always sad that young people find it amusing and entertaining until their friends or loved ones are involved in a tragic accident," said Officer Stone.

Forty minutes into our ride along we saw death.

Neighbors surrounded the scene from afar as the mangled car was pulled from the pole with the body of a young man still inside.

OPD confirmed two drivers were racing, often considered a prelude into the weekend sideshows.

"He swerved off, hit the curb and the car flipped over and just wrapped around the pole. 'How often do you see this?' Everyday. Someone is racing every day," said neighbor Wendell Clark.

With sideshows popping up in several parts of Oakland, towing companies are on speed dial.

"We get as many as 25, and once 57 one night," said David Jacobs with Auto Plus towing.

The citations range from $500 to $1500.

We asked OPD, 'When is this all going to stop?'

"It's going to stop when the citizens of Oakland also say alongside the police that we've had enough," said Officer Stone.

RELATED: Sideshow caught on tape in Oakland's Laurel neighborhood

Oakland Police have not identified the driver who died.

Investigators were on scene and are looking for the driver who was racing and fled the scene. On Twitter, the OPD reported:

"Oakland Police asking if you witnessed street racing/fatal accident tonight just after 5:00 PM, in the 5100 block of San Leandro Street, our investigators would like to talk with you, Call OPD Traffic investigators (510)777-8558 or (510)777-8570"