Three people are facing charges after a party devolved into a disorderly “mob” of several thousand people in downtown Newark Monday night, police said.
A total of 75 police officers and several K-9 units from four agencies were called to Main Street to help disperse the unruly crowd, which at one point blocked traffic and walked on the hoods of cars.
Some property damage was reported, police said, including several damaged cars, tipped-over trashcans and damaged signs.
By 1 a.m., most of the crowd had broken up, but police from several agencies were still present on the University of Delaware’s Laird Campus, where at least some of the students ended up.
The incident began at around 11:30 p.m. Monday at a house party in the 400 block of South College Avenue, according to Cpl. James Spadola, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department.
Officers called to the party saw more than 1,000 people in and around the house’s backyard, where a DJ was set up, Spadola said. Many of the attendees were trespassing in neighboring yards, and some were urinating publicly, he said.
As officers dispersed the crowd, the students moved up South College Avenue to Main Street, where they were met by more officers from Newark Police, UD Police, New Castle County Police and Delaware State Police. Videos posted online show lines of police using dogs to break up the crowd.
Witnesses and messages posted on social media indicated that the original party was attended by a video production company called I’m Shmacked. The company travels to college campuses to video large parties and then posts the footage online.
“There was one guy with a camera, so everyone was trying to get in the shot,” Savannah Coffey, a sophomore at UD, told the Post. “People were trampling over each other.”
Messages posted on the company’s Twitter page confirm that crew members were in Delaware.
“The only goal for the week is to make sure the University of Delaware video is sick….That is my main priority,” read one message, posted approximately 11 p.m. Monday.
One cameraman, Marcus Hyde, 26, of Chesterfield, Va., was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
“Officers observed a subject with a camera that was causing the crowd to swell around it and act even more disorderly,” Spadola said, referring to Hyde.
Police also charged the two UD students who live at the house where the original party began.
Anthony Iadisernia, 19, of Jackson, N.J.; and Evan Tuozolli, 20, of Trumboll, Conn., are charged with underage drinking, disorderly premises, failure to obtain a special event permit and a noise violation.
All three people were issued criminal summonses and released on their own recognizance.
Newark Police stepped up patrols Tuesday night, as some social media posts indicated that more raucous partying could occur.
“We are heavily monitoring Twitter tonight for anything that might happen,” Spadola said Tuesday afternoon.
A strong police presence was visible Tuesday night, with frequent patrols of downtown and at least two officers stationed outside the Galleria. At approximately 11 p.m., several New Castle County Police officers on horseback could be seen staging on South College Avenue, near the bridge over the railroad tracks.
However, no problems occurred, Spadola said.
Spadola also noted that police are “absolutely” reviewing photos and videos of the incident posted online in an attempt to identify other participants who committed crimes.
Sophomore Lizzie Mancini described Monday’s event as amiable and spirited prior to the arrest of the cameraman.
“The cameraman got handcuffed, and the police got him in the back of the car. That’s when it really started,” Mancini said. “At first people were chanting “U-D” and having fun with it, but then they started yelling ‘(expletive) the police.’”
Mancini and her friends traveled with the crowd all the way to Main Street.
Sophomore Katy Wallace, who witnessed part of the mob, believes blame should be put on the student body, as well as the film crew.
“I know a lot of bad stuff is associated with ‘I’m Shmacked’ but they didn’t turn things ugly, our student body did,” Wallace said. “I think a lot of people are fed up with the cops.”
No one was injured in the incident, police said.
Late Tuesday, UD President Patrick Harker sent a letter to students, warning them not engage in similar behavior again.
“Make no mistake – this behavior will not be tolerated at the University of Delaware,” Harker wrote.
Harker said UD is working to hold the students involved responsible, warning that such behavior could result in expulsion. He noted that only a small percentage of the student body participated in Monday’s ruckus.
“The few who did have cast a negative light on the university as a whole and on the character of our community,” the letter continued.
The students implicated face an emergency discipline hearing, university officials said.