A boisterous sideshow occurred on the evening of Sunday, Aug. 22, at the intersection of Mission and 24th streets, according to police and residents who live in the area. On Monday afternoon, giant circular tire skids remained from the event, which involved cars performing illegal stunt driving, such as figure eights or donuts. 

Just before 9 p.m. on Sunday, a “huge, screeching, noisy” sideshow revved up at the major intersection and lasted “at least 20 minutes,” even blocking Muni buses, according to one nearby resident who declined to be named for the story. Several police cars were parked at nearby 24th and Folsom Streets, and a few sideshow participants apparently fled the area, the resident said. 

The San Francisco Police Department confirmed that officers responded at about 9:07 p.m. to break it up, and “dispersed the vehicles and the people involved in the incident.” 

“It was pretty popping, and very active,” said an employee at La Santaneca de la Mission, a restaurant at 2815 Mission St., near 24th Street. Other customers that came in confirmed the spectacle, too. 

Sideshows are common in the city, especially in the Mission, the Excelsior, and Bayview. The Board of Supervisors and the Police Department introduced strategies in late 2020 and early 2021 to discourage them, including impounding involved cars for as long as 30 days and implementing a specific police unit to catch the culprits. Increasingly, these stunt-driving events pop up on social media.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the SFPD at 415-575-4444 or text a tip to TIP411 and start the message with SFPD. 



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Annika Hom is our inequality reporter through our partnership with Report for America. Annika was born and raised in the Bay Area. She previously interned at SF Weekly and the Boston Globe where she focused on local news and immigration. She is a proud Chinese and Filipina American. She has a twin brother that (contrary to soap opera tropes) is not evil.

Follow her on Twitter at @AnnikaHom.

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  1. People often choose to conduct these activities where marginalized communities live, because they expect the marginalized communities won’t have the resources to do anything about it.

    These activities demonstrate a low regard for the lives of the people living in these marginalized communities, and the people conducting these activities are often from outside the neighborhood, making them complicit in the marginalization of these communities.

    1. I heard they got there pretty quick actually. They heard there were donuts!

      J/K! Sounds like they did a good job. They shut it down without anybody getting hurt. Does that sound easy? Not how I’d want to spend my Sunday night, that’s for sure.

      1. They didn’t. Watched the whole thing. Police didn’t even respond until 25 minutes after it started and then they stood by a couple blocks away until the whole thing dispersed on its own.

    2. Hell, you can’t even get DPW to enforce anti-graffiti laws in “The Mission,” what makes you think the police are any different on Sideshows.

      City Hall doesn’t give a sh__ about our neighborhoods!!!

  2. Turn these large intersections into traffic circles with raised centers for pedestrians. May cost less than resurfacing and marking them over time.

    1. Totally! Or bulbouts? We have these huge intersections, and then we get mad when people have car parties. I bet a lot could be done for little money with plastic lane dividers bolted to pavement.

    2. By all means let’s put a traffic circle in middle of 24th and Mission, both major thoroughfares, both home to bus lines. Let’s make those streets impassable to stop the occasional sideshow! There’s the spirit.

  3. Honest question, seeing the way people act and vote, did you expect any less????

    When your motions trumps (TDS incoming lol) over logic, then this is the result. Lawlessness, police force castrated, residents gas lighted into believing “Everything is ok!” LOL

    You cannot make this up.

    It’s going to get much much worse. Buckle up sheep, we’re just getting started, and never ever forget, you voted for this

  4. Regarding Green’s comment—those “marginalized communities” are usually the very ones that love things like sideshows….ever hear of one occurring in Pacific Heights or Rockridge in Oakland?

  5. I heard all this mess going on Sunday night. All I heard were tires squealing! I head no police sirens coming in to break this up! There needs to be more of a police presence in the Mission!

  6. Last I checked this is considered reckless driving. Why impound the cars only for 30 days? They should sell at the vehicles at auction, and drivers licenses should be revoked. Not that complicated, really…

  7. I watched this whole thing from my roof, (and videoed). One of the vehicles crashed into the croud of people after accidently hitting a curb and spinning out of control. Police “showed up” but parked 1-2 blocks away and didn’t do anything for over 20 minutes. Whole thing lasted about 45 minutes, and when it dispersed, the police finally drove up.

    This happened a few months ago too where we watched a car drive through a crowd of people. Not sure why nothing is done about this. There had to be at leadt 30-40 cars taking part in this last sideshow.

  8. If the police simply observe the sideshow incident, they are not helpful. Intervening may lead to a high speed chase and possible pedestrian injury

    However, if they record registrations they can track down cars and impound them at will. That is a safer alternative than a heavy response that leads to more chaos and risk.

  9. It’s one thing to do slideshows in desolate place, but down right stupid to try this at one of the busiest intersection, where even cars barely get through.
    It seems like it would’ve been easy to trap them all.

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