San Francisco Embarcadero residents frustrated with recent sideshow enforcement

CBS San Francisco
CBS San Francisco

San Francisco Embarcadero residents frustrated with recent sideshow enforcement 02:33

SAN FRANCISCO -- Neighbors living along San Francisco's Embarcadero say they're bewildered and frustrated that police made zero arrests following a noisy, disruptive and lengthy sideshow in the popular tourist destination Friday night.

"It was super loud," said Sean Phelan, who lives nearby.  "And the duration was notable. It went on for nearly 20 minutes."
Embarcadero sideshow CBS

A police spokesperson said officers arrived on the Embarcadero around 11:45 p.m. Friday night to find several drivers performing stunts in the middle of the road. Authorities said that drivers and spectators fled the scene while police waited for more officers to arrive.

Ultimately, no arrests were made, much to the frustration of neighbors.

"I can understand the intrinsic problem with enforcement on this where the police don't know what's going to happen and it's designed to be sudden to prevent enforcement. So, all of a sudden, it turns on. And it's going to last until it could be dispersed," Phelan said.

As sideshows have become increasingly common and problematic, communities and law enforcement have come up with ever more creative and aggressive strategies for cracking down on them.

San Jose Police recently ticketed more than 700 participants in a sideshow on the south side of the city. The department deployed more than a hundred officers to prevent participants from escaping.

San Francisco police did not respond to questions about whether the department is considering similar aggressive tactics.

It appears the sideshow moved from the Embarcadero to the Bay Bridge later in the evening where it once again shut down traffic.

"That is bold and I haven't really seen that before. That is bold and that would be concerning," said neighbor Scott Douglas.

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