Colorado State University Back-To-School 'Megaparty' Attracts Thousands, Sends Several To Hospital (VIDEO, UPDATE)
On Saturday, a back-to-school pool party near the Colorado State University campus drew between 2,000 and 4,000 people, overwhelmed police and ended with four people arrested and at least sixteen treated for alcohol poisoning, The Denver Post reports.
911 calls have surfaced from the day of the Fort Collins back-to-school megaparty and help illustrate just how overwhelmed the police and paramedics were that afternoon, The Coloradoan reports. Callers were concerned about fights, party-goers being too intoxicated and getting sick -- as one would expect at a college party, especially one this size -- but the number of people needing assistance by authorities that afternoon was just too much for Fort Collins police and paramedics to handle on a weekend.
7News reports that 911 callers phoned for more police and paramedics to arrive even while some had already arrived and were attending to fights, wounds or the intoxicated. Lt. Russell Reed, of the Fort Collins Police Department, said that 10 officers arrived from the day shift and another 10 to 15 were also called in from the off-duty night-shift to try and gain control of the party.
CBSDenver reports that two of the four party-goers arrested at the back-to-school "megaparty" in Fort Collins on Saturday were CSU football players. James Skelton, 21, the CSU Rams' starting middle linebacker, was arrested for third degree assault. Zachary Tiedgen, 21, a backup defensive lineman, was arrested for disorderly conduct.
Athletic officials at CSU are aware of the arrests and Rams' football coach, Steve Fairchild, has been in contact with everyone involved since Saturday and is still "gathering facts," according to The Coloradoan.
The Welcome Back Party on Saturday afternoon took place at the Campus Crossings at Ram's Pointe, a student housing complex in Fort Collins. The party's Facebook page had nearly 3,000 Facebook users attending and close to 2,000 others invited.
The party began at 1 p.m., but 9News reports that by 2 p.m. the Poudre Valley Hospital was already receiving calls from people passed out from too much alcohol. At least ten people were transported from the party scene and five more were treated and released at the scene.
All available police patrols in Fort Collins were called to the scene to respond to the out of control party, The Coloradoan reports. The police were first dispatched around 3 p.m. when fire and ambulance responders were "overwhelmed with alcohol-overdose cases." By about 6 p.m. the party was ended by local police and the crowd was dispersed.
Of the four arrested, two were cited for obstructing a peace officer and two for third-degree assault, according to 7News. CSU spokesman Brad Bohlander told 7News that as of Saturday evening no CSU students were reported as being arrested.
Binge drinking is nothing new in Colorado, especially amongst Colorado's major university students. The Huffington Post reported on a recent study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) which showed that 47.5 percent of Coloradans ages 18-25 reported binge drinking in the last month -- that's 6 percent higher than the national average of 41.4 in the same age group.