Carbondale police arrest three, break up large Halloween party

Sunday, November 2, 2003

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Three people were arrested and police had to don riot gear to help disperse a crowd at a Halloween party Saturday morning after officers were pelted with beer bottles.

The three were arrested on charges of mob action and reckless conduct and one officer suffered minor injuries, said Sgt. Mike Osifcin.

Police drove through a parking lot of an apartment complex shortly after 1 a.m. to check on a large party that was near Southern Illinois University's campus in Carbondale. People at the party started throwing bottles and beer cans at the police car, Sgt. Mark Diedrick said.

When officers went to disperse the crowd, they were pelted with more bottles and cans. The police regrouped and about 12 to 15 officers in riot gear went into the crowd to break up the party, Osifcin said.

There were no reports of any other problems in the Southern Illinois city.

In 2000, about 120 people were arrested after trees were set on fire, storefront windows broken and police in riot gear were hit with rocks. Crowds grew to about 2,500 people.

Not long after, the Carbondale City Council reinstated an ordinance forcing bars near campus to close on the weekend before Halloween and on the holiday itself. Beer keg sales also are banned across the city on those days, although restaurants may serve alcohol and liquor stores may remain open.

SIU officials extended the 2001 fall break to all of Halloween week, hoping students would leave town and stay out of trouble. This year, however, school was in session.

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