Sunday, March 1, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Santa Barbara melee spurs calls to party less hard

By
From page A2 | April 13, 2014 |

SANTA BARBARA (AP) — With streets still littered in glass and garbage cans overflowing with red cups and bottles, UC Santa Barbara students were trying to shake off a lingering hangover from an annual spring party morphed into a raucous and violent blowout.

Once proud to attend one of the nation’s best-known party schools, some struggled to reconcile that image with what happened last Saturday night as young people clashed with police, tossed bricks, bottles and rocks for no apparent reason. A university police officer and four deputies were injured and 130 people were arrested.

“That doesn’t happen, especially here,” said 21-year-old Jake Pangburn, a senior who lived near the center of the rioting.

Problems with excessive partying have persisted for decades on this roughly half-square mile that is home to 23,000 people, but the violence has brought out politicians, university officials, police and student leaders to call for more prudent partying.

The daytime bash known as “Deltopia” isn’t sanctioned by the university or formally planned, but it’s a well-known happening the first weekend of spring quarter in the community next to UC Santa Barbara’s campus and picturesque beachside cliffs.

It evolved from “Floatopia,” a beach party banned since 2009 after it was deemed an environmental and safety hazard because of trash, human waste and near drownings. Since then, beaches are closed that weekend, and the party migrated a block inland to Del Playa Drive.

Authorities ramped up patrols after a Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student fell to her death off the cliffs last year and an overcrowded balcony collapsed, injuring several partygoers.

With social media spreading the word, the party has grown. As many as 25,000 people packed the sunny streets last Saturday in classic Isla Vista garb — bikinis, flip-flops, tank tops and shorts. With drinks in hand, they lined yards in front of two-story apartment buildings and crowded overhanging balconies.

Violence broke out around 9:30 p.m., after a university officer trying to break up a fight was hit in the head with a backpack filled with booze bottles. Hundreds of people threw rocks, bricks and bottles at officers, tore down stop signs, rocked cars and smashed windows. Authorities rolled out armored vehicles, lobbed tear gas and fired rubber bullets and foam projectiles to disperse surging crowds.

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson called it “spring fever on steroids.” She said officials need to look at Isla Vista’s overcrowding, its isolation from services and the permissive culture of binge drinking. Those factors have been exacerbated by the area’s party-hard reputation.

“Students historically get together and party,” Jackson said. “But it’s not as extreme as what we saw on Saturday.”

And a 17-year-old from Los Angeles, accused of starting the incident by wielding the bottle-filled backpack, has been charged with mayhem, resisting an officer and assault on a police officer. He was charged as an adult.

Much of the violence was blamed on visitors. Of 62 people cited or arrested who claimed to be students, only 16 said they were from UC Santa Barbara, according to preliminary data provided by Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office.

Still, UC Santa Barbara Associated Students President Jonathan Abboud said it was up to students to take responsibility.

After getting tear-gassed trying to calm the crowd, Abboud posted on Facebook that “what happened last night in Isla Vista was inevitable and we are in part to blame for it because we encouraged this culture.”

The post generated more than 1,600 likes and 80 shares and seemed to speak to a new reality. Isla Vista is not only the locale for partying but has, over the last year, brought violence: multiple sexual assaults and stabbings, including one Saturday evening before the riot.

Some students criticized police for a heavy-handed approach and lack of communication. Students had just returned from spring break last week to find surveillance cameras among the palms towering over Del Playa Drive featuring large warning signs that they were being watched.

An Isla Vista Foot Patrol sergeant posted on Deltopia’s Facebook page that no music would be allowed during the party and violators could be arrested.

“That’s frightening to people,” Abboud said. “When people feel constricted, they might lash out.”

Abboud has called for a civil grand jury investigation to get an independent account of how things spiraled out of control.

Police defended their actions and said they were trying to keep the community safe when the mob turned on them.

University officials condemned the violence, and have held multiple meetings with student leaders to figure out how to ensure next year’s party doesn’t devolve into similar chaos.

Abboud said for many students it was the first time they felt like their concerns were really being heard by the university’s staff.

————

By Tami Abdollah. Follow her at http://www.twitter.com/latams

Comments

comments

The Associated Press

.

News

Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Child abduction case in jury’s hands

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
MU Games closing in late March

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Still no parole in toddler case

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
City offers wetlands tour

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Radio talk show moves to Mondays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Assault awareness campaign kicks off

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Young patients bond with special stuffies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Milt Priggee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Rowing: PE as well as life skills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Police complaint procedures drafted

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Clarifying energy update letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Weekly claw pickup necessary

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

City may get charged up over energy choices

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Design innovation centers for the 21st century

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

 
 
A new perspective on life

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8