Residents woke to squealing tires, sirens, and a helicopter overhead when a sideshow brought an estimated 200 cars to the intersection of San Pablo and Solano Avenues early Sunday morning.
Just before 2 am, police began clearing the sideshow, sending cars fleeing through the neighborhood north to Esmond and Mcbryde Avenues.
Cars also fled in the direction of El Cerrito, with reports of a large number of cars exiting I-80 at Central Avenue.
As police attempted to push the group westbound onto Interstate 580, officers reported fireworks being thrown at them and lasers pointed in their direction as they continued working to disburse the cars. Donuts and other sideshow evidence were visible Sunday morning along both San Pablo and Central Avenues.
Sideshows and donut doers continue to be problematic in Richmond, especially as many other bay area cities crack down on the activity.
Sideshows and donuts are both illegal in California.
Two years ago, the problem of sideshows went before the Richmond city council, which decided to deal with sideshows through public education programs that outline the ills of stunt driving, and by way of traffic calming measures such as speed humps, roundabouts, or Botts dots rather than issuing citations or creating an ordinance.
On Esmond Avenue, what's rumored to be DYI traffic control has appeared at key intersections after years of donut spinning and traffic accidents, including one recently that injured a family of four.