Wild student street parties caught on camera
It looks like rain and a beefed up police presence wasn’t enough to stop students partying during Saturday’s Western University Homecoming and FoCo celebrations.
While it initially appeared as though students kept their house parties relatively tame, new video making the rounds online shows they were anything but.
Several videos posted to social media show hundreds of partiers blocking city streets. Almost none of the students appeared to be wearing face coverings or physical distancing.
Londonblo.g posted a video to its Instagram account that shows one person hanging from a street sign on St. George Street, another doing a back-flip off of a utility pole into the crowd below, and three men drinking on the hood of a moving vehicle.
Police had been heavily patrolling Broughdale Avenue earlier in the day. The situation on the street was more subdued than in previous years, especially as rain moved into the region by early afternoon. Officers cleared the street, along with nearby Huron Street, by 2 p.m. Two people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The poor attendance and early dispersal of the Broughdale gathering led many to believe the annual celebrations were done for the day. However, after night fell hundreds of purple-clad young people returned to the streets. The online videos of the evening appear to show police moving the crowd along at one point. Police cruisers with their lights activated are seen in the distance as the crowd shuffles along the street.
Over the course of the weekend, London police say there were 20 Provincial Offence Notices handed out for violations of the Liquor Licence Act and dozens of fines issued for parking violations, noise, public nuisance party attendance, use of a closed street, and public urination.
Three people were also fined under the Public Nuisance Bylaw for being on roofs. There were no Criminal Code charges laid.
According to London Police, Project L.E.A.R.N. saw one charge issued under the Reopening Ontario Act, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000. There were 34 provincial offense notices issued, 12 by-law notices and three arrests of people who were intoxicated in a public place.
Prior to Saturday’s festivities, Mayor Ed Holder, London police Chief Steve Williams, and Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie had urged students to avoid large gatherings and warned of penalties for those busted at unsanctioned street parties.
Under a Section 22 Class Order issued last week by Mackie, anyone attending a gathering that exceeds the limit (25 people indoors, 100 people outdoors), could be fined $750. The fine for hosting a gathering that exceeds the limits is $10,000.
Western University also warned it would use its code of student conduct to punish students involved in serious off campus incidents. Those penalties range from disciplinary action and suspension to expulsion.
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