So what was supposed to be a festive day on Saturday turned into a riot on New Brunswick’s Delafield St. I guess that’s what happens whenever the cops are called in to disperse crowds busy “reveling”.

A good many residents on the block today are pointing fingers at the police for having stirred up the crowd once they’d arrived on the scene.

This is sort of like a “chicken and the egg” question.

What came first, a party that was getting out of hand necessitating the need for police to disperse crowds of “revelers”, or the presence of police instigating a crowd of festive partygoers.

Depends on who you ask.

“Delafest” (is) an apparent offshoot of the annual concert Rutgersfest, which was cancelled two years ago because of concerns it had become too rowdy.

So the question I have is this: If the party had become too rowdy 2 years ago for Rutgers officials to cancel it; what makes you think it wouldn’t become too rowdy this time around.

And that’s what some “revelers” admitted. Which is, the party atmosphere appeared to border on anarchy.

The report continues:

But the ultimate problem wasn’t the party-goers, said the residents, who were mostly students at Rutgers University.

“It only turned into a riot when the cops came,” said Mike O’Reilly, a senior in business administration, who lives several houses from the epicenter of the disturbance.

New Brunswick Police Director Anthony Caputo described a dangerous and chaotic scene that greeted police officers. Between 300 and 400 people failed to disperse on Delafield Street, he said, and some started throwing bottles.

At one point, furniture was set on fire on the roadway. And some partygoers were seen on rooftops and awnings “that could have easily collapsed,” Caputo said.

But Jeremy Abreu, a senior civil engineering student who lives on the street, said the mood was festive until police officers “got everyone riled up.” Partygoers had spilled onto Delafield Street by 2 p.m., he said, but they didn’t get rowdy until officers arrived.

An officer used a megaphone to urge the crowd to disperse, but that only stirred chants of “RU,” said Carter Henry, a senior communications major. It wasn’t until a few more officers arrived that the crowd moved back indoors, he said.

That’s when the situation exploded. Officers managed to clear the crowd, but throngs of partygoers returned to the roadway once police left and began to set furniture on fire, said Abreu, adding that he did not participate in the chaos.

Around 5 p.m., residents said, police officers returned, this time larger in number and armed with riot gear and pepper spray. They then checked on several houses on the street, which a New Brunswick police spokesman said was needed to make sure fleeing revelers weren’t trespassing and causing more disturbances.

There were several arrests, Caputo said, but police didn’t reveal how many people were taken into custody. Some were charged with assaulting police officers, Caputo said.
Rutgers police also made several arrests at the block party, according to New Brunswick Police Capt. J.T. Miller, department spokesman.

Police and residents did not say if anyone was hurt in the incident.
“What started off as a leisurely day ended up as a catastrophic one,” Abreu said.

So do you feel the police overreacted by pepper-spraying the crowd once they’d arrived a second time to disperse the crowd?

Or was the crowd already out of control which necessitated the police getting a handle on the situation by any means necessary?

You be the judge!