Reporting Meghan McCorkell
BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Celebration crackdown. After a Saint Patrick’s Day marred by violence and destruction, police are vowing this year will be different.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the areas officers will target.
The Inner Harbor is just one of those targeted areas after last year’s celebrations spun violently out of control.
The vicious videotaped beating of a tourist in Downtown Baltimore, a neighborhood trashed by partiers and fights involving a mob of teenagers break out for blocks around the Inner Harbor. Now Baltimore city police are cracking down on St. Patrick’s celebrations across the city.
“We are not going to tolerate individuals that act irresponsible. Period,” said police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi.
For the next two weekends, uniformed and plainclothes police will step up patrols in the Inner Harbor, Fells Point and Federal Hill, which is slated to hold a bar crawl Saturday.
“We’ll be out issuing citations and doing enforcement in the area,” said Lt. Milton Corbitt.
Another target area is O’Donnell Square in Canton, where last year’s party spilled out from the bars and onto the square. In the end, the crown jewel of Canton looked more like the Preakness infield.
“It was the worst I’ve seen, not only in Canton but in Fells Point and Federal Hill,” said Darryl Jurkiewicz, Canton Community Association.
Police say drinking will not be allowed in the square. Steve Fogelman with the city liquor board says they’re prepared for the holiday for six months. Inspectors will be out making sure people don’t leave bars with alcohol, so a repeat of last year doesn’t dampen the holiday.
“Also to make sure that where there is outdoor table service, that it’s not an encroachment on the public land with alcohol,” said Fogelman.
Police say the citation for having an open container will cost you $250.
City police will also be conducting DWI checkpoints over the next two weekends.