You might not expect people to get out of control at a pumpkin festival, but that is exactly what took place near Keene State College in New Hampshire on Saturday. Students and visitors became unruly in the otherwise sleepy New England town and started throwing all kinds of things at one another and turn cars and dumpsters over, which lead to injuries and arrests.
Keene State College officials provided few details, but the school released a statement, which said that off-campus gatherings escalated at locations around the city. Keene State student Ellery Murray described to the The Boston Globe the atmosphere at a party she went to:
There were about 4,000 kids in this backyard, and it almost felt like a war zone. People were just throwing everything they could find — rocks, skateboards, buckets, pumpkins. It was actually kind of scary.
The Southwestern New Hampshire Fire Mutual Aid organization said on their Twitter account that several people were injured from thrown bottles at a party involving hundreds of people.
Keene State College President Anne Huot said in an emailed statement that the pumpkin festival had been promoted “as a destination for destructive and raucous behavior” and that her school had tried to prevent this from happening. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Several students, including this unnamed boy, were injured by thrown beer bottles.
2. Huge crowds including Keene State College students and visitors to an annual pumpkin festival in New Hampshire became unruly Saturday, leading to injuries and arrests.
Julie Conlon, who graduated from Keene State in May, said:
Yeah, kids drink excessively, but it’s never been out of control. This year I watched thousands of kids pile into a backyard and kind of go crazy.
Conlon added that people were throwing bottles, uprooting street signs, and setting things on fire, before the police showed up in force. She said:
I watched cops roll in, I watched the fire department roll in, I watched state troopers roll in with their batons out, ready to take on the crowd. It was crazy.
However, even after police had broken up most of the parties, The Boston Globe reports, the chaos continued late into the night. In one street there was a large dumpster overturned. Empty beer cans and water bottles covered the pavement. WMUR-TV in Manchester showed a video of a crowd overturning a car.
At least 30 people were injured near the college before the evening on Saturday and 20 were taken to hospitals, The Guardian reports.
3. The Southwestern New Hampshire Fire Mutual Aid organization said on Twitter that several people were injured from thrown bottles at a party involving hundreds of people.
4. As the night wore on, students overturned cars and fires were lit on a street near campus.
5. Police responded in riot gear and used tear gas to break up the crowd.
6. Hours after the commotion broke out, emergency officials said they were still working the scene and couldn’t provide any details.
7. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said state and local safety officials worked to defuse what she called ‘the situation’.
And here are the videos: