San Jose Police Fail to Show Up at Illegal Sideshow Despite Receiving Multiple Calls – NBC Bay Area
Halloween weekend scared downtown San Jose on Saturday night.
Dozens of cars and hundreds of spectators gathered for an illegal spectacle that lasted over an hour. Several neighbors said they called the police, but no officer ever showed up.
San Jose Police Confirm Received Calls Reporting The Side Show, But Say It Was Tapped So Much To Respond To Other Crimes That They Did Not Have Enough Officers To Respond Safely .
Video taken late Saturday night near 6th and St. John streets shows the chaos of a dangerous sideshow.
Several people are seen standing in the street, playing a game of chicken as the cars circle around them.
Witnesses say it lasted over an hour and a half, but despite the SJPD’s call, officers never showed up.
“What I can tell you is that that night has been very busy. We have had a lot of calls for service,” said Sgt. Christian Camarillo of SJPD. “We had a few flights, the fire department called for help, our patrols were exhausted that night and unfortunately we couldn’t respond to that. ”
Another problem – police say that due to the possibility of those involved in the side shows being armed – the department has to respond with a large team of officers.
“It’s not the type of event where you send two officers to clean up the intersection, it has to be a coordinated effort involving 12, 14, or 20 officers,” Camarillo said.
It’s not just in this area. Neighbors have reported similar illegal street performances in the neighboring Roosevelt Park neighborhood and say it’s a growing problem – and it’s happening all hours of the day.
“Unfortunately, we see a lot more of them in the neighborhood and even during the day cars pass right by, almost hitting pedestrians. It’s extremely dangerous, ”said Jeff Levine of the Roosevelt Park Neighborhood Association.
San Jose Police said they were taking action to crack down on side show activities, including citing spectators, pursuing promoters and towing cars.
They also say the department’s severe staff shortage played a role in their decision not to respond over the weekend.
“Something bad is going to happen,” Levine said.