Officials: IUPatty’s police incidents down from 2018, but still plentiful
Overall police incidents during the annual IUPatty’s weekend, 7 a.m. Thursday through 7 a.m. Sunday, were down compared to last year, according to officials tracking the incidents in central Indiana County.
The boisterous, three-day celebration thrown by students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is not sanctioned by the university and has been a sore spot with many in the Indiana area. Students wear green, in recognition of St. Patrick’s Day, although the event often doesn’t coincide with the holiday.
The IUPatty’s weekend prompted owners of Off The Rocks, a restaurant in the 600 block of downtown Indiana’s Philadelphia Street, to close early, at 2 p.m., on Saturday and Sunday, citing an abundance of caution. “Our staff and customer safety is and always will be number one!” the restaurant stated Thursday in a social media post.
In 2017, two off-campus shootings during the festivities left one person dead and three injured.
Indiana Borough Police reported 131 calls for service during the first 48 hours of this year’s extended weekend, up by 15 from the previous year.
Twenty people were charged with drug or alcohol offenses, including 10 IUP students, three non-student residents and seven student visitors not enrolled at IUP.
But between 7 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday, borough police had 89 calls for service, down markedly from 139 calls during the same period in 2018.
There were 18 people charged with drug or alcohol offenses, retail theft, resisting arrest or trespass — including four IUP students, one non-student resident and 13 non-IUP student visitors.
On Saturday and Sunday, borough police had to disperse several large gatherings, according to Michelle Fryling, executive director of media relations for IUP and public information officer for the Indiana Area Collaborative Team that released the police statistics.
Borough police charged a Virginia resident with suspicion of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and carrying a firearm without a license during a traffic stop on School Street.
During the three days, IUP police reported 54 people arrested for drug or alcohol violations, including 21 students and 33 non-students.
State police, who prepared for the weekend with officers mounted on horses, a DUI checkpoint, supplemental roving patrols and aggressive traffic enforcement, reported the hours of Saturday evening and early Sunday were “significantly quieter” than in 2018, according to Fryling. This year, state police issued 25 traffic citations while arresting one person for a drug violation, five people for driving under the influence and one person for public drunkenness.
During the first 48 hours of the weekend, state police reported 233 traffic citations, seven drug arrests, three cases of driving under the influence and one case of public drunkenness.
During the 2018 weekend, state police issued fewer traffic citations — a total of 229 — but made more arrests, including 44 for drug violations, 20 for DUI arrests and 21 for public drunkenness.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .