Local News

Police use pepper spray to break up block party revelers

WWU RIOT

BELLINGHAM — Police say a block party with about 200 people started to get out of hand around 9:30 p.m. Saturday near the corner of Jersey and Chestnut Streets in Bellingham.

The crowd, which quickly grew to about 500 people, had to be dispersed with pepper spray and three people were arrested but no serious injuries were reported. None of those arrested were Western Washington University students.

When police initially asked the crowd to disperse, people refused and instead retreated to nearby Laurel Park, where their numbers grew. “Next thing I know 300, 400 people are outside going crazy,” Ed Bear said.

It took police a couple of hours to break up the crowd.

As the crowd grew, things spun out of control and party goers began throwing bottles into the streets. Within minutes cell phone video started turning up on YouTube that showed how bad things were and how dangerous it became for police and the public.

“This one car for some reason, people got on top of it and were jumping up and down, like five people on top of this Prius and I could see them making dents in the roof of the car,” Kendall Baumgartner said. “People were throwing bottles at the cops and throwing glass at them, throwing glass at their windshield.”

Police cars lined the street for blocks and waited for the SWAT team to arrive in riot gear as the crowd continued to gather. Ian Vincent said police calmly told party goers to leave, but were forced to use pepper spray and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

“People still refused to leave and that’s when things started to get out of hand,” Vincent said.

Police and school officials plan to look at video of the riot and if more revelers are identified, there could be more arrests made or disciplinary action taken on campus.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

9 Comments to “Police use pepper spray to break up block party revelers”

    Miss Ben said:
    October 13, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    What was the Reason for this? @q13fox @bhamcrime @DavidRoseQ13FOX NONE!! Abuse OF our LEOS- Just as Bad as Abuse FROM our LEOS!

    Miss Bren's Law said:
    October 13, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    What was the Reason for this? @q13fox @bhamcrime @DavidRoseQ13FOX NONE!! Abuse OF our LEOS- Just as Bad as Abuse FROM our LEOS! — Btw Q13 This new comment process… Kinda Sucks Guys :( What happened to the login with Facebook or Twitter?

      Party_Crusher said:
      October 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM

      You sound kinda mad, don't start throwing bottles and jumping on cars now. Do you really need to party that bad that you're willing to hurt people for it? You partiers are pathetic, whining for your Facebook and baby bottles. Get a life you D-bags and stop damaging other people's property.

        Miss Bren's Law said:
        October 14, 2013 at 10:28 AM

        Right On! Respect works both ways….

        Miss Bren's Law said:
        October 14, 2013 at 10:32 AM

        I'm sorry "Party_Crusher… Do you think I was there, or do you not understand my post… LEO stands for Law Enforcement Officer.

        "Abuse OF our LEOS- Just as Bad as Abuse FROM our LEOS"

    John Fuller said:
    October 14, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    It appears that there is a high level of disdain for the police in Washington. Could this be linked to constant reports of police misconduct and abuse of power? I don't feel safe in Seattle anymore, especially at night. Police could show up at any moment and escalate a minor situation and cause an international incident. There was a time that business professionals could go downtown and enjoy the evening, but if you do that now, you are really taking a chance. Stay home and stay safe!

    guest said:
    October 14, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    we need alcohol and drugs more easily available in Washington, that is so obvious!

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