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Sideshow whack-a-mole gives police a busy Friday night


Reno and Sparks police on Friday night, Sept. 30, engaged in sideshow whack-a-mole with people gathering at six different locations in Reno and Sparks for illegal street takeovers, reckless driving and fights. 

Officials from the Reno Police Department chronicled in a press statement a series of incidents that took place through the night and drew several hundred vehicles and thousands of participants. 

The night of unrest resulted in two felony and 10 misdemeanor arrests, 33 tickets issued and 14 cars towed. Offenses included reckless driving, hit and run, weapons violations and traffic violations. 

Officials said they are still compiling the list of arrests and citations, so statistics from the night aren’t final. More arrests are likely as investigations related to the incidents are ongoing.

In addition to the two police departments, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office RAVEN helicopter, the Reno Fire Department and REMSA were involved in the response to the activity. 

Here’s an outline of what happened:

  • Thousands of people with several hundred vehicles gathered in the parking lot of the Walmart in Lemmon Valley and police were called to help disperse the crowd.
  • The group relocated to the intersection of Mt. Anderson and Echo Avenue, just south of the Reno-Stead Airport, where hundreds of people circled the intersection for an illegal sideshow. Police dispersed this crowd.
  • The group split, with more sideshows and street takeovers in industrial areas, in Reno at Trademark Drive and Sparks at Packer Way. Police dispersed the crowds again, making several arrests. 
  • Hundreds of participants head downtown and take over the intersection of Virginia and Fifth Streets. Reckless driving and fights break out, and responding officers were assaulted in the melee. More people were arrested.
  • Participants reassembled at the south Reno Target for one final round of reckless driving and rowdy behavior. 

Local police have taken a zero tolerance approach to sideshows and street racing in the community, which has increased this year. An increased police presence is planned for Saturday night in the community to respond to more potential disturbances. 

Those with information on Friday night’s sideshows or other illegal sideshow and street racing activity are asked to call the RPD’s non-emergency line at 775-334-2188. They can also contact secret witness at 775-322-4900, secretwitness.com or by texting the tip to 847411(TIP) keyword – SW.

Source: Reno Police Department

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