BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For the second time this week, controversy over crowd control. This time, Canton spiraled out of control on St. Patrick’s Day. Now residents want to know why police did nothing as hundreds of revelers trashed the square.
Meghan McCorkell has the police response.
Police say it was a misunderstanding that led to people openly drinking on the square but some people who live here say that’s not acceptable.
The crown jewel of Canton transformed into a garbage dump.
“It wasn’t even necessarily the fun time that folks were having. It’s the mess that they left behind,” said Canton resident Stephan Fogleman.
Home video shows St. Patrick’s Day chaos on Canton’s O’Donnell Square. Hundreds of people were openly drinking, and beer, crushed glass and trash were everywhere—and police didn’t stop it.
“There was a breakdown, an enforcement breakdown on the part of the Baltimore police department. We are in the process of rectifying that,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.
Police admit there weren’t enough officers to control the massive crowd. They had their hands full that night at the Inner Harbor, when a surge of teens caused a massive disturbance.
Canton residents want to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“O’Donnell Square is sort of the front yard—or backyard, as it were—for most of us residents so we like to keep it clean,” Fogleman said.
Early Sunday morning, workers at area businesses and community members banded together to clean up the square.
“You really can’t fault the businesses. They did clean up,” said Greg Marsh.
The Canton Community Association received letters from concerned neighbors who are upset at this mess.
“We had sort of a perfect storm. The weather was phenomenal, there were people just dying to get out, St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday,” Marsh said.
The board is now investigating how the annual celebration spiraled out of control.
The Canton Community Association will hold a public meeting next Tuesday where residents can vent their concerns.
Police vow this won’t happen again. They are reviewing patrol plans for Canton’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration next year.