Nine Arrested After Rowdy Student Partying in Willimantic

A wild day involving rowdy Eastern Connecticut State University students has Willimantic police saying enough.

Officers dodged flying beer cans, corralled hundreds of partiers filling the streets, and arrested those who crossed the line.

Police and neighbors say in recent years the partying had improved and students acted more respectful.

But Saturday took a loud and potentially dangerous turn.

NBC Connecticut was there as police busted what they say was an out-of-control event on Chestnut Street in Willimantic.

“It’s getting worse. It’s getting real bad, real bad,” says Felix Salgado of Willimantic.

Neighbors say they’ve had to put up with parties like this all day.

“It is a little loud. But this is the first year they started at 9 o’clock in the morning,” says Brenda Bourgoin of Willimantic.

At times, hundreds of Eastern Connecticut students filled the roads.

“A lot, a lot of people. Like, the whole street was full,” says Bourgoin.

Police doubled up patrols on Saturday to handle what revelers nicknamed the “stumbler.”

“The stumbler is basically kids going house to house and drinking,” says Corporal Stanley Parizo, Jr., Willimantic Police.

And when police stopped the rowdy drinking it did not always go over well.

“What we saw (Saturday) just it crossed the line. When you start attacking the police with beer cans that are full and open and police cars and taunting the police dog, unacceptable behavior,” says Parizo.

Thankfully no officers were hit.

They ended up arresting nine people for charges including breach of peace and interfering with an officer.

“Very disappointed, the cell blocks are full here,” says Parizo.

Officers handed out tickets to at least 16 others.

Police say until now this had been a good year for parties and they’re frustrated problems from earlier, wilder years resurfaced on Saturday.

“Now that I’m a parent and grandfather, I see this it kills. It kills me,” says Felix Salgado.

Students we talked to say they felt they were being unfairly targeted and that the problem was being blown out of proportion.

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