44 injured as US student party turns into brawl

This video image provided by KEYT-TV shows a crowd confronting police during a weekend college party in Southern California that devolved into a street brawl. Photo / AP
This video image provided by KEYT-TV shows a crowd confronting police during a weekend college party in Southern California that devolved into a street brawl. Photo / AP

At least 44 people were injured and more than 100 were arrested after a California student street party turned into a huge brawl, police said Sunday.

Authorities from several law enforcement agencies joined forces to control unruly crowds Saturday during Deltopia, a spring break party in Isla Vista that drew about 15,000 people, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

The office said a "major disturbance" broke out after a University of California Santa Barbara Police officer was hit on the head with a backpack filled with large bottles of alcohol.

As the authorities moved in to make arrests, "a large crowd gathered for several blocks and threw objects at law enforcement personnel, including rocks, bricks and bottles," the sheriff's office said.

Partygoers ripped up stop signs, lit small fires and damaged property, including security officers' vehicles.

Security forces from Santa Barbara and Ventura County used tear gas and foam projectiles to disperse the crowd.

But "it took several hours for law enforcement to disperse the crowd and restore order," the sheriff's office said.

At least five other sheriff's deputies were injured during the clashes. One was hit in the face with a brick, while two others were hit with bottles on the hand.

During spring break vacation periods, generally in March or April, many American students let loose and party, often on US beaches and in Mexico, and frequently with alcohol.

- AFP

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 23 Jul 2014 10:02:09 Processing Time: 792ms