Riot police called in to end University of Cincinnati off campus party

University police cruiser pelted with bottles

CINCINNATI – It took Cincinnati police dressed in full riot gear to disperse a party involving University of Cincinnati students early Sunday morning.

Shortly after midnight, campus police responded to a call of nearly 500 unruly students in the area of Stratford Avenue.

Once at the scene, some students pelted the university's cruisers with bottles. A mirror on one of those cars was broken.

UC police then called 20 Cincinnati police officers dressed in riot gear to the scene to disperse the crowd.

Those officers broke up the group of students without further incident.

Three people were arrested including two students whose names were not released. A third person, Ian Ireland of Bright, Ind., was also arrested. He doesn't attend the university.

Ireland appeared in Hamilton County court Monday where he received a $1,000 bond on a single count of disorderly conduct while intoxicated.

A Hamilton County assistant prosecutor described the event Sunday as a riot, with bottle thrown at officers by people in the crowd.

"I've been here four years and to rowdier parties than last night, but I've never seen riot police (show up), just because I've never seen that many people at one event off campus," said UC senior Dan Hanna. "People were packed into the street, you couldn't see anything, just people."

Part of the reason for the size of the crowd has to do with how the party developed.

The gathering began as several separate parties and then merged into one, according to police. A fight also broke out at the scene before university police arrived.

Greg Hand, a spokesman for the university, confirmed some partiers were referred to UC's judicial affairs, a group that weighs and decides disciplinary actions against students. Hand would not say how many students were referred, or provide their identities. He cited university privacy protections for students.

The incident became a local trending topic on Twitter. Students called the event #stratfordpalooza.

Students told WCPO the party is an end of semester tradition but for some unknown reason Saturday night's festivities got out of control.

"It's disheartening that we're in a negative light," said Hanna who watched the events unfold from the front porch of his home across the street.

"It comes with the territory of going to a big university, a public research institution of like, 40,000 students," he said. "So even if 90 percent of them had good intentions, the 50 kids that come out and want to be rowdy, throw bottles and be ignorant with cops are going to ruin it for everyone else."

On Sunday morning, litter from the party could also be seen near the Stratford Heights apartment complex across from Clifton Avenue. The area is also home to UC housing, fraternities and sororities.

WCPO spoke to several longtime residents of the neighborhood who said the partying is getting out of control. They said they chose not to be identified because they fear retaliation.

This is not the first time officers responded to a call of a party getting out of hand on Stratford.

In May 2003 police charged six people for rioting during a block party known as "Cinco de Stratford."

Students burned couches and turned over two cars during that incident. Authorities called in more than 20 officers and a police helicopter to bring that crowd under control.

Sunday's incident comes after Dayton, Ohio police were recently called to the University of Dayton's campus in riot gear. Students on that campus got out of hand celebrating a Flyers basketball win that sent the team to a Sweet 16 match up in the NCAA March Madness Tournament.

Also, in Lexington, Ky. early Sunday morning, Lexington police arrested several University of Kentucky students celebrating the Wildcats' Final Four win over the University of Wisconsin.

WCPO reporter Amy Wadas contributed to this report.

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