Police cars attacked during Antioch sideshows, two suspects arrested following chase to Elk Grove

Antioch Police Sgt. Rob Green speaks to media during a press conference on May 16, 2022. Video screenshot.

“I ask the parents to have accountability for their kids” – Antioch Police Sergeant Green

“Is this what our community has come to? Surrounding police officers.” – Mayor Pro Tem Barbanica

Mayor, police hold press conference

By Allen D. Payton

On Saturday night, May 14, 2022, participants and spectators of two sideshows in Antioch attacked police cars, resulting in the arrest of two suspects following a CHP chase to Elk Grove. The first sideshow occurred in the intersection of Lone Tree Way and Blue Rock Drive/Golf Course Road. The second occurred at 18th and A Streets

During the first sideshow two suspects in a car threw bottles at an Antioch police car, resulting in a chase of the suspects’ vehicle. A CHP officer took over the chase which ended with the suspects crashing their car in Elk Grove. Antioch Officers arrived and took the two into custody.

During the second sideshow, several spectators attacked at least one APD Officer’s vehicle. More officers arrived minutes later according to a resident. A video of the incident shared by a resident was posted by Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica on his YouTube channel. It was originally posted on Instagram and shows the officer’s vehicle driving slowly through the intersection as several people kicking, hitting and jumping on the car and yelling vulgarities. (Warning: Strong Language)

A resident who witnessed the second sideshow shared the following with the Herald Sunday morning: “There was a very dangerous side show in the intersection of 18th and A Street in Antioch last night. It was so bad that about 50 people swarmed a APD vehicle and were trying to break the windows and dented up the police vehicle pretty bad. I thought the officer was going to be pulled out of his car and beaten. His life was truly in life threatening danger. That APD officer had extreme restraint of not moving the car fast to save his life. He still drove about 3mph not to run over any of these people that were assaulting him and his vehicle. He had no back up at that time until few mins later when more APD vehicles got to the scene…I’m telling you from being there close by to see it in person. It was very scary.”

She provided an update on Monday: “I called the non-emergency number this morning and asked if the officer was ok. They told me he was but that the damage to his vehicle was bad. They broke out his back windshield and dented up his vehicle. I told them that I watched it happening and was just praying they didn’t grab him out and beat him.”

About the incidents Barbanica wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday, “Is this what our community has come to?  Surrounding police officers.  When members of a community think that this is okay, enforcement needs to be drastically stepped up.  No more, ‘They are just expressing themselves’.  This is ridiculous.  A zero tolerance approach is needed.  I expect APD to investigate and identify every person in this video that is committing a crime and write cases on each.  This patrol unit has substantial damage.  I have reached out to the Chief. Also last night, APD officers were attacked with bottles at another side show and those suspects were chased to the Sacramento area and arrested.”

Mayor Lamar Thorpe, Interim Police Chief Steve Ford and Sergeant Rob Green, held a press conference about the incidents Monday morning, on the corner of East 18th and A Streets during which he said, “these sideshows cause unnecessary disturbances, unnecessary delays and unnecessarily put innocent lives in danger.”

“These types of activities are not welcome in our city,” he added, reading from prepared remarks. “If you come to Antioch your vehicle will be impounded for 30 days costing you and your parents $3,000. You will also be issued a citation for $300.”

“Most spectators aren’t from our communities or the cities they overwhelm with their sideshows,” Thorpe continued. “The images and videos of spectators attempting to damage public property endanger the life of police officers are not acceptable by any stretch of the imagination and will not be tolerated in the City of Antioch.”

Ford said, “these incidents resulted in an officer being assaulted and a police vehicle being vandalized.”

“These incidents bring great danger to responding officers, participants and bystanders, and the environment as whole,” he continued.

“Violent, disruptive behavior will not be tolerated,” Ford added. “Moving forward there will be a zero-tolerance approach to sideshows in the City of Antioch and all resources at my disposal will be used to mitigate these activities.”

“We are investigating with great effort to identify those who were there and their specific role and activity,” the interim chief stated. “All individuals identified will be met with the fullest extent of the law.”

“If you think you’ve gotten away with sideshows from the past, please understand, we will do our research, we’ll come to your home and we will confiscate your vehicles after sideshow activity,” Ford concluded. “Do not facilitate or participate in sideshows in the City of Antioch.”

Sergeant Green, in charge of the traffic unit, spoke next saying, “for the citizens that I receive complaints from about the sideshows, just know that we’re listening and we’re doing everything we can on the back end. We may not be able to go right in the middle of a sideshow. We are creating pro-active patrols. We are monitoring various outlets to predict when these sideshows do come in. We do work with our partners all around the East County area.”

“I also want to thank the citizens that constantly call in, provide us videos, provide us information to help us solve this crime,” he continued. “We will continue to investigate this case. For those who live in this city, just know this is not how you show love for your city. We will continue to do work and take these cars out of the sideshows.”

“The participants of these sideshows, a lot of them are juveniles,” Green stated. “I want the parents out there who are buying these juveniles these cars that are high-powered…any accidents, any issues it’s going to be on the parents. So, I ask the parents to have accountability for their kids.”

“Throughout the night, we had several vehicles hit with bottles,” he shared in response to questions from the media.

“The vehicle was damaged to the point it was not operable,” Green said about the police vehicle in the video.

“As soon as we are aware of a sideshow activity, we notify the surrounding agencies and we typically respond and help each other out,” he stated in response to another question. “A lot of times it’s not the police, the law enforcement who actually ends the sideshow, it occurs when there are major fights or shootings that occur from the actual participants.”

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APD Sgt Rob Green speaks to media 051622

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