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Bay Bridge sideshow ends with fireworks, noise—and lone arrest

A car drifts around spectators gathered in the middle of the intersection during an early morning street sideshow at Compton Boulevard and Atlantic Avenue in East Compton on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022. Takeovers are a growing trend and residents say that law enforcement are not doing enough to stop them. There have been some residents who say that the events are dangerous and keep them up at night. Some spectators said they feel like they're not bothering anyone and they only happen at night when the streets are empty.
A sideshow, similar to one seen in Compton in August 2022, blocked all Bay Bridge lanes for nearly a half-hour early Sunday, authorities said. | Source: Myung J. Chun/LA Times/Getty Images

All eastbound Bay Bridge lanes reopened early Sunday after a sideshow involving at least half a dozen vehicles drew hundreds of spectators, authorities said.

CHP Officer Efrain Jauregui told The Standard that officers received word at 1:56 a.m. of stopped traffic along eastbound lanes east of Yerba Buena Island. 

According to videos obtained by CBS Bay Area, several hundred spectators surrounded vehicles who used all lanes just east of the bridge’s signature tower to perform burnouts and send up clouds of tire smoke.

During the sideshow, several people also set off fireworks that arced high above the bridge’s signature tower. 

By 2:22 a.m., all vehicles began dispersing, with residual traffic delays lasting up to a half-hour after. There were no initial reports of arrests, Jauregui said.

In a follow-up statement late Sunday, CHP spokesman Mark Andrews told The Standard that officers had first responded to a group of vehicles appearing to stage near the bridge’s toll plaza. As officers began breaking up the group, they learned of the sideshow happening in eastbound lanes.

Multiple officers from several CHP areas waded into the sideshow, but were slowed by heavy bridge traffic; when a CHP Golden Gate Division helicopter arrived overhead, some sideshow participants aimed laser beams at it, Andrews said.

The CHP carried out several stops off the bridge’s east end, with several people taken into custody after an officer-deployed spike strip helped stop a vehicle that fled pursuit.

In a separate stop, CHP officers stopped a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run collision; after learning the vehicle had been reported stolen and had license plates from another vehicle, its driver was arrested.

According to KRON, Vallejo police said that officers dispatched to a shooting that injured four people and a fire were not able to respond to a sideshow around 3:30 a.m. Sunday at Mini and Lewis Brown drives that ended with a vehicle engulfed in flames.

The region has seen several similar incidents on successive weekends, beginning most recently with one sideshow June 9 near San Francisco’s Ferry Building and another June 15 in San Mateo County that ended in two San Francisco men’s arrests.

“The CHP takes these types of reckless and illegal driving exhibitions seriously,” Andrews said.

“Additional follow-up investigation will be conducted in regards to this incident, and appropriate enforcement actions will be taken against any persons or vehicles identified in this illegal and improper behavior.”

While some critics of the incidents inside law enforcement say there is room to take them on more forcefully, San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott has said the department’s approach to deterrence has focused on disruption of pre-discovered events, as well as post-event investigations leading to arrests, citations and impounded vehicles.