University of Oregon Students Riot in Local Neighborhood

cruzerA group of 400 rioters stormed a neighborhood street in Eugene, Oregon on September 24, 2010. Some of the rioters were college students from the University of Oregon.

The riot occurred in the West University neighborhood. Many students live in this area and have “very large houses with basements (that) can hold a couple hundred people each,” according to the Eugene police spokesman Doug Mozan.

It seems that a party got out of hand, and the drunken party-ers spilled out of the house and into the streets. Once in the neighborhood streets, they began throwing bottles at officers, breaking car windows, and tearing down street signs.

These groups tend to “engage in group-think. It was like a flash mob, almost,” Mozan said. This means that if one person says the group should riot, this one person could influence everyone else to do so.

Nine people were arrested for various reasons, including rioting, minors in possession of alcohol, and interfering with the police.

This is not the first time that police have had to deal with student-riots in this neighborhood. In September 2008, a riot of around 250 people got out of hand and a police car was hit with a bottle. In 1998, 12 people were arrested for rioting in this same neighborhood.

“The police department will do everything we can with neighbors, businesses, and the university to reduce the likelihood that this will happen again,” said Pete Kerns, the Eugene police chief.

Let’s hope these efforts can prevent more of these riots in the future.

Via The Seattle Times

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