Although it was St. Patrick's Day, the luck of the Irish certainly didn't protect a few St. Paddy's party-goers from injury at a massive street party near Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. First responders in Waterloo reported the throwing of rocks and bottles at an unsanctioned St. Patrick's Day street party in the university district, resulting in numerous injuries. Around 3:00 PM, Waterloo Regional Police Service Const. Ashley Deitrich reported that those who experienced injuries at the street party were primarily involved in slips and falls.
A police officer was among those who became injured at the party. He was transported to hospital, although Deitrich could not confirm how severe his injuries were.
Deputy Chief Kevin Patendra of the Region of Waterloo Paramedic Service reported that over 41 calls had been received by local paramedics throughout the duration of the party. 18 individuals had subsequently been transported to hospital to be treated for complication from alcohol and drug misuse, as well as for injuries related to fractures and head injuries, CTV News reports.
STATUS REPORT: Even more people filtering in on #EzraAve, and parties are going along the side streets as well. About 30K people anticipated, inching closer to that at the moment. pic.twitter.com/E3HgOygGOs— Mark Pare (@MarkLPare) March 17, 2019
Const. Deitrich also explained that police services were investigating reports of property damage, and were also ticketing the party's attendees for underage drinking and public intoxication.
"We have been very disappointed with some of the behaviours that have been displayed by some of the people in attendance," she told reporters yesterday.
According to Deitrich, the crowd that filled Ezra Street in Waterloo was even larger than the population that attended the party in prior years. Last St. Patrick’s Day, Waterloo reached a new record for the biggest party of the city's history, with approximately 22,400 young people dressed in Emerald Isle green flooding the streets. That number, however, doesn't take into account the crowds of passersby on King Street or those attending house parties inside nearby homes.
Last year's St. Patrick's Day street party cost both Waterloo Regional Police and the City of Waterloo, along with paramedics and the university, a whopping $700,000 to contain and control. According to reports, the greatest financial burden was felt by police, exhausting them of $330,000 of resources.
Waterloo Police Cheif Bryan Larkin had told CTV Kitchener on Sunday that police had expected 30,000 party-goers to show up. Local police even prepared arrangements with backup officers from Peel Region. Larkin explained they had "a plan in place that will target out-of-towners", and that police won't be shy about laying charges.
Just an absolute SEA OF HUMANITY, tons of people wearing green on #EzraAve. Remember to be responsible and watch your step, seen lots of slips and falls with ice on the ground @570NEWS pic.twitter.com/om47NM2JoO— Mark Pare (@MarkLPare) March 17, 2019
Waterloo Regional Police - St. Patrick's Day Update https://t.co/TF8MxdRF8u— Waterloo Regional Police (@WRPSToday) March 17, 2019
A similar scenario played out in London, Ontario, yesterday. Officers had reported to CTV London that several house parties had been investigated by police, and fire officials were forced to shut down one of them.
According to a post on Twitter by London Police Service, one male party-goer had fallen off a roof from a residence in London and had been transported to hospital.
On St. Patrick's Days of prior years, London police had to contain riots that took place in the heart of the city. Back in 2012, mobs of approximately 1,000 people started fires and threw bricks and bottles at emergency responders around Fanshawe College.