Doughnuts on the freeway?

The California Highway Patrol dispatcher had to repeat it back to the woman who had called 911. She must have figured she'd heard it wrong. What moron would drive onto a busy freeway in broad daylight, force traffic to a halt and then start spinning his car in furious circles?

Who would think it was funny to pull a reckless stunt that could have caused accidents and gotten people killed?

It's dangerous and frightening enough to have cars doing sideshows on major city streets in Oakland. But on a freeway?

But as CHP would discover as the calls from irate motorists began pouring into 911, as crazy as it was, there were in fact a group of cars Jan. 26 in the northbound lanes of the freeway near O.co Coliseum in Oakland burning rubber and smoking up the freeway. A lead car wove across traffic from the far left to the far right to force cars behind him to stop, clearing the way for his accomplices to have a clear path to do doughnuts like they were in an empty parking lot.

Traffic was backed up in both directions. People were hanging out of their car windows and sunroofs watching and shooting videos on their cellphones.


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If you happened to be on I-880 and you were trying to get to the nearby airport to catch a flight or any number of other places a person might be headed on a Saturday afternoon, tough luck. You had to wait until these clowns had finished getting their kicks and decided to flee, yelling "5-0."

It's just a blessing no one got hurt.

The disgusted driver of a big rig told a 911 dispatcher that the sideshow had almost caused a serious accident. "I can't believe they did that," he said.

This is what people who are desperate for attention and can't get it in an positive way do to get noticed. To show how bold they are. That they aren't afraid of the cops or anyone else. Then, they filmed themselves and posted the videos on YouTube and other social media.

That shows you that they aren't very smart. In addition to all of the witnesses who actually saw the cars that were cutting up and reported the license plates and vehicle descriptions to CHP, there is also now incriminating video evidence against the drivers.

It might be hard for authorities to determine who was actually behind the wheel. But if they can identify the car, they can take action to impound it.

One of the I-880 sideshow stars was a bright purple Mustang 240SX with Orange rims. It was not hard for authorities to track -- surprise surprise.

It is registered to a 35-year-old man from Vallejo.

When CHP investigators showed up at his door, he confessed that the car in the I-880 sideshow videos was his. Yet he claimed that he had been attending a car show in San Leandro where a man had given him $7,000 to let him test drive the Nissan. During the half-hour that the car was gone he told KCBS news, the man must have taken the car and driven it in the sideshow. He has since painted the car red he says because it's "hot."

That has got to be one of the dumbest alibis I've ever heard.

Isn't it interesting that these people chose to do this in Oakland? Not in San Leandro where we know at least one of the cars -- if not all of them -- originated from the car show near the Marina.

Could it perhaps have something to do with the fact that Oakland has a reputation for lawlessness? A place where you can pretty much do whatever you want without repercussions? Should we really be so surprised that people now think they can do doughnuts on a major freeway?

The CHP says investigators have identified a number of the cars and people involved in the freeway sideshow and will be making arrests.

CHP should pursue the case vigorously and give those responsible more attention than they bargained for.

Tammerlin Drummond is a columnist for the Bay Area News Group. Contact her at tdrummond@bayareanewsgroup.com or follow her at Twitter.com/Tammerlin