Neighbors frustrated with San Francisco police during sideshow

Squealing tires. Rowdy crowds. Dangerous stunts.

People living in one San Francisco neighborhood say they're frustrated about how police responded to a late-night sideshow this weekend.

One man can be heard on cell phone video, saying: "They have like, the entire police department here, and they're not doing anything."

The sideshow occurred on Harrison and Main streets, two blocks from the Embarcadero and not far from the interstate ramp to the Bay Bridge. One spectator in a blue hoodie was struck by a car as the driver performed donuts in the intersection. The person stands up again and lingers in the street as the car swerves by again.

"I think it's crazy," neighbor Noy Lunsford said. "It's not safe for the neighborhood."

Police said the stunt driving incident happened just after midnight Sunday morning. When officers arrived, they saw numerous cars and a crowd.

Residents said the sideshow went on for more than 20 minutes and after police arrived, there were still plenty of people doing donuts in the street. 

They also said there have been problems with sideshows at this intersection before, too. In some instances, people have been injured by the spinning cars.

"A lot of things can go wrong in 10 minutes," said neighbor Ethan Dang. "It goes on too long. I'm seeing, hearing it three to four times a month now." 

San Francisco police said they dispersed the crowd by using their emergency lights and sirens. No arrests were made.

"These stunt driving events are dangerous and volatile incidents, often including individuals armed with firearms," San Francisco police said in an emailed statement. "Officers must balance public safety while utilizing time and distance so as to not unnecessarily further escalate these already dangerous incidents." 

Police said they're often blocked by cars participating in sideshows, preventing them from getting close to where the action is. 

One neighbor suggested putting obstacles in intersections like bumps to prevent future sideshows.

But other residents said it will only move the illegal activity to another intersection or street.

Police said when officers respond, they collect evidence, write incident reports and initiate investigations that have led to arrests and car seizures.

Brooks Jarosz is an investigative reporter for KTVU. Email him at and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BrooksKTVU