Authorities in Sacramento, California arrested a total of seven people while issuing 27 traffic citations in connection to a highway stunting and sideshow event that shut down a major portion of Interstate 5 this past Saturday. For the unfamiliar, sideshows are when a group of people halts traffic on a roadway so they can perform various vehicular shenanigans like burnouts and donuts, the commutes and general safety of bystanders be damned.
In addition to the arrests, police also impounded nine vehicles in the process, according to the California Highway Patrol. Two drivers were ticketed and charged with driving under the influence as well. Interstate 5 stands as California’s main north-to-south highway with millions commuting via the freeway daily. The sideshow occurred Saturday at around 3:50 p.m. Pacific Standard Time in the vicinity of National Drive and North Market Boulevard.
“It’s a challenge, when we have maybe a few patrol vehicles that show up and if you have a crowd of 40 or 50,” Officer Marcus Basquez of the Sacramento Police Department told CBS 13. "I mean, obviously we can only catch one or two or whoever."
Around 50 cars were reportedly involved in the sideshow event but by the time police responded, much of the group had dispersed. After police received reports, the CHP strategized and blocked off-ramps for Interstate 5 downwind to catch the offenders who were caught on video either from local traffic cameras or aerial units responding to the incident.
“The really scary part is a lot of the people that are involved in this are minors or underage, who don’t have experience behind the wheel and are already doing something that’s extremely dangerous," CHP spokesman Mike Harris told local news affiliate KCRA.
Following the initial event, members of the same group reportedly blocked another portion of I-5 near Florin Road later that evening to halt traffic and perform donuts while spectators watched. The secondary event closed the road for around 15 minutes until the group dispersed. No arrests were made in relation to this offense.