VALLEJO - The Vallejo Police Department (VPD) is asking for City and Council support in addressing proposed solutions to dangerous sideshow and illegal firework activity in the City of Vallejo. In conjunction with Independence Day celebrations throughout the City, the VPD responded to a series of vehicle accidents, reports of vandalism, sideshows and calls for service related to illegal fireworks. In addition to the sideshows, the City of Vallejo had 15 shootings from June 29, 2021 to July 5, 2021, resulting in four people struck by gunfire in just one week.

From midnight July 4, 2021 through midnight July 5, 2021, there were approximately 1085 incoming calls and 615 calls for service initiated by our VPD Communications Division. Of those calls, approximately 382 calls for service initiated were related to illegal fireworks. This does not include calls for service where the location was previously reported. 

In addition, sideshows occurred in multiple locations throughout the City from approximately 7:00 p.m. through 1:00 a.m. with a reported total of approximately 1,000 participants. The sideshows also occurred in at least 11 locations that lasted well after midnight. Those locations are as follows: 

  • Spencer and Melba      
  • Dominion Way          
  • Orange Street             
  • Cabrillo and Alhambra   
  • Mini and Falcon         
  • Linfield and Olympic     
  • 100 Plaza Drive         
  • Mini and Lewis Brown    
  • Broadway and Illinois    
  • Broadway and Nebraska  
  • Sonoma and Lemon     

A large sideshow at Sonoma and Lewis Brown consisted of several hundred people and vehicles that gathered around 9:00pm on July 4th. Upon responding, spectators threw fireworks at the officers and in one case an M1000 that exploded near officers. There were also over 30 rounds of automatic gunfire triggered from within the crowd of spectators very close to where officers were towing participant’s vehicles. 

One woman, 20-year-old Julianna Montelongo of Castro Valley was arrested for aiding in obstructing traffic and emergency vehicles from responding to the sideshow. Officers were able to clear the city of the sideshows by approximately 1:00am. As a result, there were 10 vehicles towed, 5 citations issued and 1 arrest in this area. 

In addition, the Vallejo PD responded to approximately 18 vehicle accidents during this time, one of which was a critical injury accident in the 2700 block of Georgia Street. In this incident, a 41-year-old male driver was left in critical condition after his vehicle crashed and wrapped around a tree. Preliminary information does not indicate that alcohol was a factor. 

The breakdown of vehicle accidents includes four (4) injury accidents, (4) non-injury accidents, nine (9) hit-and-run incidents and one (1) vehicle collision into a building that resulted in injury. Four of the eight vehicle accidents required jaws of life to remove people from entangled vehicles and four people were transported to local hospitals with life threatening injuries. 

There were also at least six (6) reports of vandalism, which does not account for unreported crimes. On July 5th, officers were dispatched to canvass affected areas and meet with several business owners impacted by vandalism, namely graffiti to local businesses. Business cards were left for follow-up along with education on alternative ways to protect their businesses. 

"I am truly grateful for the selfless service, courageous actions, and diligent commitment of our men and women at VPD as they work to make our city a healthy, safe and vibrant community," Chief of Police Shawny Williams stated. "As a means to restore order, we will be assessing and implementing all viable options to ensure the safety of our residents. We must take back our streets from violators that blatantly disregard community safety. Our officers and staff need your support, understanding and cooperation as we endeavor solve this problem together."

In these circumstances, we often depend on mutual aid for assistance, which was not readily available last night as allied agencies were addressing their own calls for service. In addition, air support was not available due to weather concerns. Furthermore, VPD Communications (911) lines rang steadily from 8:00pm through 1:00am on July 5th with community members pleading for assistance.
On 7/5/21, Vallejo PD responded to the report of an unexploded firework in the 500 block of Broadway where a large sideshow had occurred the night before. An 8-inch commercial grade mortar firework was located and safely removed by the Napa County Sheriff Department. 
Click to view video of dangerous sideshow and illegal firework activity occurring in Vallejo.
Overall, the Vallejo PD is requesting resources and support in addressing these very present and inherent dangers of sideshow activity and fireworks to the Vallejo community. The following are steps we plan to take to mitigate future activity:  

Redeployment - Overlapping congruent shifts to supplement response efforts.

Intelligence & Data Gathering - Gathering intel to develop proactive strategies for addressing anticipated sideshows 

Improved Technology - Employing the use of ALPR and CCTV technology in areas prone to sideshow activity to better identify cars for seizure warrants

Spectator Ordinance - Chief Williams is working with the City Attorney’s Office to finalize a Spectator Ordinance that would make spectating at street races and reckless driving exhibitions unlawful. 

Ordinance Prohibiting Promotion/Organizing of Sideshow Activity - Chief Williams has proposed enacting an ordinance that makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly encourage, promote, instigate, assist, facilitate, aid or abet in sideshow activity. Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and face fines of up to $1,000.00, serve six months in jail or some combination of the two.

Mobile Field Force (MFF) / Operation PEACE Team - With additional resources, establish a team dedicated to writing seizure warrants, investigating sideshow activity and deploying aerial technology and drones as needed to identify participants and associated vehicles.

Traffic Engineering - Collaborating with Public Works to assess the use of traffic engineering such as Botts’ Dots or cross hatches in areas prone to sideshow activity 

County-wide Sideshow Taskforce - Assessing feasibility of a County-wide response team to combat sideshow activity on a County level.

Please also see a prior release citing collaborative ways we are working to address sideshow activity:

For media inquiries, please contact Public Information Officer, Brittany K. Jackson by email at or by phone at (707) 651-7147.