FORT COLLINS- Last spring's party-turned-riot involving CSU students in Fort Collins led to at least $4,650 in fines while seven of the 15 resulting cases are pending in courts.
Colorado State University officials and police aim to avoid another ruckus with more education for people who sign up for the off-campus party registration system. The university reports 16 parties are registered for this Friday and Saturday.
People who register now get a two-page signed document, emails and, if there are more than three parties scheduled on one block, a phone call. There's also a "big bullet about social media," CSU spokeswoman Emily Allen said.
"Once you put it out on Twitter and Facebook, no matter how private you think you have it, you don't have control of that message," she said. "And you don't know who's coming."
Social media have been known to make events go unexpectedly viral in Fort Collins, for example the 2011 Ram's Pointe back-to-school pool party-turned-megaparty that drew thousands west of campus and resulted in 10 hospital trips for alcohol problems. That daytime event ended with a road closure as people peacefully streamed to city streets. Not so for the 300 person April riot where police used tear gas, pepper spray and exploding rubber balls to break up the drunken mayhem.
That riot, in the Summerhill Neighborhood, was in an area where three parties had used the party-registration system. Police repeatedly broke up the parties, but CSU students kept showing up, alerted to the events by multiple posts on social media sites such as Facebook.
Two men, Kyle Stephen Griffin and Kodi Don Noel were charged with felonies on suspicion of starting the riot. Both cases are set for possible disposition hearings in September. The other 13 people were charged with misdemeanors, petty offenses or municipal citations. The citations resulted in fines of $1,000 that were reduced to about $600 to $800 provided the recipients abide certain conditions.
Tyler Michael Loendorf was acquitted at trial.
Allen said emails would be sent Friday to people with registered parties, reminding them of the program with links to more information. She said the two-page document was expanded from one page to include details discouraging live or amplified music as well as the social media cautions and more.
The program also now requires that people who register parties be residents of the address, and they now have to give last names as well as first names. Police are
The university's registration system aims to get loud parties broken up faster on busy weekend nights in the city. Under the program, dispatchers will call the party's organizer if complaints come in, giving them 20 minutes to end things. Most of the time, that's exactly what happens. A list of the parties - with first names only - is sent to police dipsatch and the watch commander, Allen said.
Fort Collins police on Saturday night used tear gas, pepper spray and exploding rubber balls to break up a riot near the CSU campus, sending hundreds of drunken, crying students back to their homes.
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