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Law enforcement officers throughout Sonoma County shut down sideshows during Cinco de Mayo

Law enforcement officers from throughout Sonoma County shut down at least five sideshow locations Tuesday night, including one with at least 100 cars filled with people.

Santa Rosa and Petaluma police, Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies and CHP officers all joined in dispersing the crowds in a cat-and-mouse game of pop-up tire-squealing displays throughout the evening.

No arrests or citations were made, though police said the attendees were clearly violating the coronavirus quarantine orders to stay home and not gather in groups.

“We’d clear lots and then they’d pop up somewhere else,” Santa Rosa Police Sgt. Dave Linscomb said.

Other than the usual inconvenience to other driver or shoppers, the sideshows caused no other disruptions, he said.

One of the larger gatherings in the Dollar Tree shopping center along Sebastopol Road in Roseland drew dozens of cars, whose drivers burned rubber doing donuts while surrounded by onlookers. Police broke up the impromptu Cinco de Mayo celebration and told attendees to leave.

Police said there were social media posts about the events, but it wasn’t clear if the locations were planned in advance or hastily thrown together.

The CHP held over its swing shift to help other officers saturate the area with squad cars, chasing off those who started to gather.

CHP Officer Marcus Hawkins said Tuesday night’s events seemed to be a bit more impromptu than others have been.

“Sometimes we get reports that these are going to happen and we roll out extra units,” he said. “We get out there with everything we’ve got and pull over everyone we can and cite violators.”

Tuesday, though, the gatherings just moved when police broke them up, some moving to Mendocino Avenue for a Cinco de Mayo cruise.

You can reach Staff Writer Lori A. Carter at 707-521-5470 or lori.carter@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @loriacarter.

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