Santa Rosa considers holding safe, sanctioned sideshows

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (KGO) -- Amidst growing concerns over sideshows, a Santa Rosa city councilmember and some community members are discussing the possibility of sanctioned sideshows.

This comes less than two weeks after two young females were stabbed at a Santa Rosa sideshow at Sebastopol Road and West Avenue. Police say one suspect has been arrested in connection to one of the stabbings.

Monday night we received ground video of a Santa Rosa sideshow at that location but one that occurred in late August.

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"If we could produce an alternative we wouldn't be seeing our roadways being destroyed in the way they are currently being dealt with," says Santa Rosa District 1 Councilmember Eddie Alvarez. Alvarez plans to start the conversation on sideshows at Tuesday's council meeting. Sideshows have become a major problem not only in Santa Rosa, but cities across the Bay including San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose.

Jose 'Mico' Quiroz is part of the Latin Rollers Car Club and says the increase of sideshow activity is frustrating but there has to be an alternative for young people participating.

"The idea came up, maybe we can do sanctioned sideshows and we could bring them in and create a space where they could do that legally, safely," says Quiroz.

Santa Rosa Police tell us they would not be in favor of a sanctioned sideshow due to dangers posed and the liability involved. They warn that vehicles identified in sideshows can be towed, even at a later date, and face a 30-day impound which would often cost the owner of the car between $2,500 and $3,500.

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One witness told us that last month a patrol car was attacked responding to another sideshow at Sebastopol and West.

"They started jumping on the car, hitting the car, and I'm pretty sure the deputy was scared for his own safety, and had to escape the crowd here," says that witness who didn't want to be identified.

Alvarez says this problem isn't going away and something needs to be done.

"Whether it be county property, or city property, private property and seeing how we might actually be able to make this work if we can make it work at all," says Alvarez.

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