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Oakland police broke up at least two large sideshows Saturday night and were geared up to respond to more, a police spokeswoman said.

Police responded just after 7 p.m. Saturday to the intersection of Maritime Street and Middle Harbor Road, within the Port of Oakland, where police Officer Johnna Watson said approximately 100 vehicles, and an unknown number of spectators, had gathered. Police didn’t make any arrests or issue citations at that point, but recorded the license numbers of the vehicles there.

Watson said:

“If we see any of these vehicles again during the evening, they will be towed.”

Another gathering in Oakland was broken up a short time later, she said. Police began towing, ticketing and arresting participants involved in the second event, according to an Oakland police Twitter post just before 8 p.m.

Three groups of officers were handling sideshow detail Saturday night, Watson said, with a helicopter available and several tow trucks standing by.

Oakland police have beefed up sideshow enforcement most weekends since April 2019, after an incident at 42nd Avenue and International Boulevard in which a truck and an AC Transit bus were burned and an officer was seriously injured.

But Watson said sideshows are even less acceptable now, in the midst of a Covid-19 coronavirus emergency when such gatherings have the potential to spread the virus.

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