EUGENE, Ore. — Shattered glass and beer bottles litter the intersection of 13th Avenue and Ferry Street just blocks from the University of Oregon campus.
This is the scene one day after police took action against 400 college-age partiers Friday night.
“The party was just in the streets,” said student Antoine Simmons. “It was crazy. I’ve never seen that many kids in one place.”
YouTube videos have been posted by those who were there.
According to Eugene police, several residents hosted house parties on Ferry Street Friday night. Those parties grew and eventually spilled onto the road.
Police said a sergeant on “party patrol” encountered the partiers.
“The sergeant noticed about 400 people in the street,” said Eugene Police Lieutenant Doug Mozan. “This is a huge crowd and these folks weren’t just statically standing around.”
Witnesses said it was all fun and games until people began destroying property. One neighbor said partiers started boxing on the street, breaking car windows and pulling down street signs.
All available law enforcement officers were called to the scene. Officers from the Lane County Sheriff’s Office, the Springfield Police Department and Oregon State Police assisted.
According to police, the mass of people was told to scatter. However, police say the group ignored their demands.
Authorities say the rioters chanted obscenities and threw rocks, bottles and eggs at officers. That’s when officers say they deployed at least three cans of tear gas.
“It was just all over and it engulfed the area,” said student Jared Kaufer. “It was like a war zone.”
Police got the riot under control at around midnight. In a press release police said nine people were arrested.
University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere is speaking out about the riot. He says he is “deeply disappointed by the behavior displayed by the young people” and said the event is unacceptable.
It’s the worst riot in Eugene since a 2008 incident that involved about 300 people. Ironically, that incident occurred just four blocks from Friday night’s party gone bad.