Weekend hijinks at a minimum

It was a relatively peaceful Halloween weekend in the University area, where Halloween riots occurred in 1997 and 1998.

The Eugene Police Department increased patrols west and south of the University — as it did last year — and the weekend passed without a major confrontation. The stepped-up patrols should continue until after Halloween.

Friday night was the busiest of the weekend for EPD, according to police reports. Almost 60 minors throughout Eugene received minor in possession of alcohol citations, 21 people were ticketed for carrying open alcohol containers in public and eight people received citations for allowing minors to drink in their homes.

Police shut down one large party on Hendricks Hill Drive, where 34 people received citations for either underage drinking or allowing minors to drink in the house. Of those cited, 19 were University students.

On Saturday, police responded to about 15 alcohol-related complaints in the University area. The largest police action of the night was outside of the University area at a house on the 3800 block of Ferry Street, where more than 100 people were gathered. At that party, 41 minors were cited for drinking alcohol and the three people were cited for allowing minors to drink. Six of the people cited were University students.

During the weekends surrounding Halloween in 1997 and 1998, crowds of about 200 rioters, many of whom were students, threw bottles and rocks at police, tore down light poles and uprooted street signs.

These conflicts, in addition to the 1999 downtown “Reclaim the Streets” protest-turned-riot, led to the EPD’s adoption of more aggressive crowd-control techniques and lowered tolerance for alcohol-related crimes.

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