Police Split College Party of Hundreds: Sparks Online Debate
Officers said parties of this size are not unusual, but the circumstances were
FARGO, N.D. — Police in Fargo gave multiple citations and arrested one person after they said a college party with hundreds got out of control.
Multiple neighbors said they were upset, but one man who lives at the home said he tried to cooperate with officers.
“There was a lot of music coming from the house,” said Devan Thomas, a neighbor who said he’s lived nearby most of his live. “I happened to glance over in the yard, there had to have been at least 25, 30 people in the backyard.”
Thomas said he could hear the loud party from inside his home a block away.
And he wasn’t only one to complain.
When police first arrived at 8:00pm, they simply asked party goers to quiet down and break it up.
Later around 9:00pm, multiple neighbors called back to say the noise got worse.
Garrett Hayen, a person who lives at the house where the party took place, told me he tried working with police to break up the party.
But there were just too many people.
“It started out with a bunch of friends hanging out, and things kinda escalated,” said Hayen.
“The renters were actually asking us for help,” said Lt. Chris Helmick with the Fargo Police Department. “They said they’ve been trying to break this party up and that people were not listening to them.”
Officers came back a second time and forced the party to split.
They gave two citations to the homeowners.
“I’d say there was a few hundred, but I wouldn’t say it was anything crazy or nothing,” said Hayen when asked how many were at the party at its peak.
Authorities said many of the party goers wandered the neighborhood between 9:00pm and midnight.
“They seemed to be waiting for us to leave again,” said Lt. Helmick.
It was at this point when 15 citations were given, most of which were for underage drinking.
One woman was arrested for resisting police.
The Fargo Police Department posted about the incident on Facebook.
This sparked a big debate in the comment section between those supporting police and those who said the police should have better things to do.
One comment said officers should have showed up before the wet t-shirt contest.
“We see a lot of parties and we don’t actively look to shut down parties. Parties are not illegal,” said Lt Helmick. “What’s illegal in the city, especially after 10p.m. on any night of the week, is having a party that is so loud and causing a problem for your neighbors.”
Hayen said he was offended by some of the Facebook comments.
“We work very hard, we pay for our college,” said Hayen. “We’re not a bunch of entitled kids and by no means are any of us thugs.”
He said many of the people at the party work during the weekends.
“Families in the area were a little bit disappointed,” Hayen said. “They deserve to be that, but this is a college neighborhood. They’re going to have to expect some things like this to happen every once in awhile.”
“There’s been the occasional party that’s gotten a little out of hand, but it’s never been that big scale,” said Thomas. “Heck, I support the Bison all the way, but I don’t even want to go to the college anymore. It needs to get toned down. It definitely needs to get toned down.”
Police said there were around 150 people at the party, but those who were there said it had upwards of 300.
The Fargo Police Department plans to have extra enforcement in that neighborhood Thursday night to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Lt. Helmick has this advice for future parties.
“Be good neighbors,” he said. “That’s really what it comes down to, be a good neighbor to the people that are probably living there year round.”