Stockton, CA — A regular weekend night turned perilous when a sideshow in Stockton resulted in severe injury for one attendee and an ongoing investigation by local law enforcement.
Sideshows, the illegal car shows characterized by risky stunts like donuts, have long been a concern for residents and police due to their propensity for violence and public disturbance. On Sunday, near Eighth and B streets, one such event escalated when Sean Boller, 26, was struck by a vehicle losing control during the show.
Boller recalls the moments leading to the accident with a chilling clarity. While attempting to cross the street with a friend, both were hit by the car. His quick-thinking companions used a belt as a tourniquet, which may have saved his life. Despite the immediate aid, the injury led to the amputation of half of Boller's foot at the hospital.
Reflecting on the danger of sideshows, Boller warned others about the risks involved, remarking on the shift from a social gathering to a scene of chaos over the years. The California Highway Patrol notes an increase in criminal behavior at these events, including violence and theft.
Officer Ruben Jones, spokesperson for the CHP's Stockton division, highlighted the grave danger posed by such gatherings, emphasizing the potential for mass casualties if control is lost. Jones's advice for anyone caught in a sideshow is to act as a "good witness" by discreetly noting license plates and vehicle descriptions, advising against direct confrontations due to the aggression often displayed by participants.
The police's crackdown on these illegal exhibitions continues, with the CHP earnestly requesting the public's assistance in providing information. In the wake of the incident, a suspect has been apprehended and is facing felony hit-and-run charges.
Despite the traumatic event, Boller remains optimistic, a testament to his resilience and positive outlook. His story serves as a stark reminder of the sideshow's potential for turning entertainment into a life-altering episode.
Authorities are calling for community support to prevent future sideshows and are urging anyone with information to contact the CHP. The incident not only raises questions about public safety but also the community's role in reporting and preventing such illegal activities.
For Stockton, Boller's ordeal is an urgent call to action against the reckless disregard for safety and order at sideshows.