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Street takeovers rumble across Orange County

Orange County authorities were kept busy late Thursday night with three separate street takeovers, including one in which a man was hit by a car and another where a spectator ignited a ring of fire around an intersection, officials said.

The illegal street takeovers, also known as sideshows, started around 11:30 p.m. and ran until early Friday, according to police. No arrests or citations were issued in any of the incidents.

In Anaheim, about 80 people gathered at Sunkist Street and East Cerritos Avenue, said police Sgt. Shane Carringer. At one point, cars circled around the intersection where a fire was lighted with what appeared to be a flammable liquid, according to video from news station CBS 2.

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By the time police arrived at the scene the fire was out and the crowd had fled, Carringer said.

In a separate street takeover in Buena Park, a car struck a spectator standing at Valley View Street and Artesia Boulevard, police said. Video posted on social media shows the man being struck by the rear of a car as it makes a sharp turn.

The man rolled over on his side as he fell to the ground. It was unclear what his condition was, but by the time police arrived the crowd was already fleeing the area, said Sgt. Chad Weaver of the Buena Park Police Department.

Weaver said these incidents are becoming more common.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t really a big deal to us last night,” he said. “This is something that occurs regularly in Orange County. It’s nothing unusual.”

There is a growing backlash in some neighborhoods, with residents demanding authorities do more to crack down on the illegal gatherings that can turn deadly in a flash.

Police also responded to another sideshow in Costa Mesa at Kalmus Drive and Red Hill Avenue around 1 a.m., said Roxi Fyad, a department spokesperson. No arrests were made.

While videos of sideshows are shared online and go viral, law enforcement maintains it’s difficult to safely detain participants when there are hundreds of spectators near a speeding vehicle performing dangerous stunts.

But they can be dangerous and even deadly. In the last year, multiple people have been shot and killed at street takeovers in Los Angeles County, despite dozens or even hundreds of witnesses at the scene.

Los Angeles residents participating in street takeovers can have their vehicles impounded for up to 30 days or have them permanently seized by law enforcement. Spectators can also be cited.


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