CALIFORNIA BOROUGH (KDKA) – An off-campus fraternity party celebrating a big homecoming win in California Borough was cut short after it became overcrowded and unruly.
“People trying to get in upstairs, they weren’t letting them in and people were getting angry,” said student Ryan Jackson. “The cops told them to leave, they didn’t listen.”
Officers from California Borough were called to the scene, along with campus police. Police say a fight between two people was broken up quickly.
But as the crowd outside grew larger, more help was needed and police responded form as far away as Clairton and Mt. Lebanon.
“Because of the mass of people trying to get in, that’s what gave the appearance that it was a riot,” said California Borough Police Chief Rick Encapera. “But we did call for help, we had surrounding police departments.”
“There was probably just as many cops as regular people out, it was crazy out here last night,” said witness Brandon Michaux.
Witnesses say after police shut down the party, they went to the other establishments and told patrons to go home. Apparently their goal was to get people off the streets last night.
“They were just like going all around to the bars and telling people the party’s over, you guys got to get out and get off the sidewalk,” said student Ebony Smith.
For many people, the homecoming celebration ended in the interest of crowd control.
“Nobody was doing anything wrong,” said student Ryan Damus. “Everybody was very calm, no fights, no nothing. They were afraid it was just too many people for them.”
“We have 9,000 students,” said Encapera. “But they all have friends who have friends that bring them into town and that’s usually where our problem is.”
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