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Mega party busted: More than 10 taken to area hospitals

6:14 PM, Aug 28, 2011   |    comments
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"The guys' bathroom was covered in blood," said Amanda Wilson, 19, a Colorado State University sophomore and resident of Campus Crossings at Ram's Pointe, where the party began at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Wilson, who said she stayed sober, said despite a few injuries - such as a man whose foot was apparently cut on glass - it was a "frickin' awesome party."

"I had fun," she said. "It was funny watching people just get trashed."

Fort Collins Police Lt. Dave Haywood said patrols were dispatched about 3 p.m. after fire and ambulance responders were "overwhelmed with alcohol-overdose cases."

The party began at 1 p.m. at the apartment complex, 2250 W. Elizabeth St. Pieces of balloons and countless beer cans were littered across the area after the crowds dispersed by 5:45 p.m.

Four people were arrested, cited and released: Two were cited for obstructing a peace officer and two for third-degree assault. Haywood said the assaults were related to a fight.

"I don't think anybody was seriously hurt in it; there were just some punches thrown," he said.

He said all day-shift units for the police were brought on-scene to deal with the incident, and two shifts were brought in early for support.

Multiple people leaving the complex said a woman was treated by ambulance after a glass bottle smashed into her face. Haywood said he wasn't aware of this or specifics of medical incidents other than intoxication. Shards of brown glass were seen along a pathway among the apartments, but most of the widespread litter consisted of smashed beer cans and party cups.

"There were people getting too rowdy, and a couple people who, like, bonked their heads on the side of the pool," said Andrea Arreguin, 18, who said she is a CSU student.

Others said they saw people who looked "dead" being taken out on stretchers, and one man was observed vomiting on a stretcher.

After police arrived, Elizabeth Street was closed west of Taft Hill road as several uniformed officers watched a steady stream of bathing-suit-clad people stream from the complex's entrance. They lined the sidewalks walking east as far as Shields Street.

"We don't want to get into a confrontation with anybody," Haywood said while standing outside his patrol vehicle near the entrance. "We just want them to leave."

At the entrance, people flowed yellow tape that had been set up around a medical triage area.

"When we have a big incident like this, we set up sectors," said Wyandt Holmes, spokesman for Poudre Valley Hospital EMS.

He said there were a total of 15 medical contacts, with 10 needing ambulance transport.

Haywood said apartment management likely is to be cited under the "nuisance gathering" ordinance, but the incident still was under investigation Saturday night.

Ram's Pointe staff who had locked themselves in the clubhouse Saturday afternoon allowed a Coloradoan reporter inside for a few minutes. One man with a name tag said there were no fights.

"You know college students, they are going to drink," he said. "But it's not like it got out of hand."

Another man, on the phone, cut the conversation short. He said Ram's Pointe declined to comment on the incident.

Attendees said they came to the event after seeing its Facebook page, "Ram's Pointe Move-In Pool Party," had about 3,000 people attending. The page describes a party from 1 to 10 p.m. with free food, a DJ and prizes. The event is described as free to residents and $2 for nonresidents.

Many who were leaving the party estimated 4,000 people attended, and Haywood said he heard estimates of 2,000, but "it's just hard to gauge."

He said police aren't monitoring Facebook for big parties but apartment management had made police aware of the event and was cooperative with them.

The separate Campus Crossings at Ram's Pointe page states no glass is allowed at the party and, "Let's have fun, but remember to be safe at the same time."

The party began at 1 p.m., and the first call to Poudre Fire Authority came at 2:37 p.m. There were a total of four calls to the complex, but the fourth at 3:32 p.m. was canceled.

Holmes said the annual party "got out of hand last year also," but it likely was overshadowed by the riot at NewWestFest, which occurred about the same time.

People brought their own alcohol, as the apartment complex did not provide it.

Ram's Pointe is not connected to CSU.

While many CSU students were in attendance, some came from as far as Denver for the annual celebration.

CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander said Saturday evening he had not received reports of any arrests of CSU students, but the university plans to be in touch with police. He said any students ticketed or arrested would be violating the university conduct code, which could lead to action by the school.

If any students were taken by ambulance, Bohlander said CSU will try to get in touch with them and their families.

Students, especially incoming freshmen, have been sent messages "trying to encourage students to think about their behavior and think about their actions, to take care of themselves and to take care of others," he said.

Written by Robert Allen of the Fort Collins Coloradoan.

(Copyright © 2011 Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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