‘Everyone was running, it was crazy;’ UD students react after on-campus celebration got out of hand

DAYTON — A day of partying got out of hand Saturday afternoon at the University of Dayton.

>>WATCH: Officers break up large gathering at University of Dayton; At least 6 arrested

The university says officers arrested at least six people during its annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration. It was held a week after the holiday as students were on spring break on March 17.

News Center 7′s Taylor Robertson was on campus earlier Saturday evening as officers worked to clear the street. She spoke with students and they told her they were just ready for the annual celebration until it got out of hand.

>>PHOTOS: Officers breaking up large gathering at University of Dayton celebration

Students got up bright and early for one of the biggest parties of the year at the University of Dayton.

“We woke up at 3:30 a.m.,” said Preston Rodgers. “But the day started at 4:00 a.m.”

“We do this every year,” said Hope Anthony.

>>PHOTOS: Officers respond to University of Dayton Celebration

But by around 4:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, the party got out of control.

A “small group of people” destroyed a vehicle, overturned it and jumped on top of it, “violating our community standards,” UD said in a statement Saturday.

Robertson said UD Public Safety warned students to clear the street and leave the area; or they could be arrested.

“We heard a commotion in the middle of the block and then about two minutes later, police arrived on the block,” said Bobby Filshie. “They all formed up, walked down the block together in unison, it was pretty cool honestly. I’m not gonna lie, they got to work fast.”

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Officers used loudspeakers warning students to clear the streets and then they started using tear gas.

“People started like hacking up lungs,” said Anthony. “It was crazy.”

“I was just on the ground, and then, like all my friends were hanging out, I just could not breathe,” Duncan Ulman told Robertson. “I couldn’t breathe.”

Students were asked if Saturday’s turnout was similar to years past.

“Celebration wise, yeah, the repercussions, no,” said Rodgers. “They got the SWAT team so it doesn’t normally happen this way. But I guess when you flip cars and throw things, it’s gonna happen.”

>>PHOTOS: Damage from IWitness 7 viewers of Saturday’s strong winds

Robertson said the University of Dayton released a statement to UD Campus Members Saturday evening.

“A gathering today on Lowes Street was peaceful for most of the day. Unfortunately, just after 4 pm, it was interrupted by a small group who violated our community standards by destroying a vehicle, overturning it on the street and then jumping on top of it. As officers tried to bring that situation under control, bottles, cans and other objects were thrown at them. Additional law enforcement resources were called to the scene. Officers then broadcast orders to clear the street from both police cruisers and a loudspeaker. The University also sent email and text messages asking people to leave the area. There were at least six arrests made while officers were clearing the street. In addition, there were numerous calls for welfare checks, and first responders, including our student-run EMS service, had to transport multiple people to the hospital for alcohol-related issues.”

“It’s just sometimes it gets carried away and (Saturday) today, it did get carried away,” said Anthony.

Robertson said the streets were empty Saturday night. It is usually where students park their cars who live in houses on campus.

But students said Saturday, they knew better than to leave their car there. They were worried it would be damaged if they left it.

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