Reporting Mike Hellgren
SALISBURY, Md. (WJZ)— Wild parties in Salisbury brought a massive police response. Police say some people that those parties chucked beer cans at them—and that’s not all.
Mike Hellgren has the latest on the confrontation.
Police say people were throwing full beer cans at officers. Still, some have been critical of the police response. One landlord is looking at solutions and says it is a cautionary tale of how fast these types of parties can grow.
Kris Adams has seen plenty of off-campus parties in Salisbury but nothing like what she witnessed last weekend. Adams rents to students on Smith Street and rushed to the scene.
“When I came down the street, it looked like a war zone. The cans…you could hardly see the grass for the cans, the trash,” Adams said.
She’s stunned at how a small gathering quickly grew to hundreds. Police say social media caused the number to explode, igniting a dangerous situation.
“It happened really fast,” Adams said. “It amazes me that a neighborhood could transform that quick.”
Some of those who gathered say it was far from 600 people and they weren’t all students.
“The police came out and just started pepper-spraying people,” said Mike Lafferty.
Salisbury University junior Mike Lafferty says there was no need to use pepper spray and K9s and says that made party-goers panic.
“They treat us like we’re criminals, is what it is. It’s ridiculous. They said it took an hour to clear people out; it took a good 30 seconds. Everyone was just heading down Smith Street, getting away from the dogs and pepper-spray,” Lafferty said.
Many believe there are lessons to be learned, examining how the drunken party formed so fast and how police handled it.
Adams is grateful no one was hurt.
“We could have had massive property damage and we didn’t have that happen, thank God,” Adams said. “We need to set up some type of communication system…so we can stop it before it starts.”
Salisbury police say they are still investigating the incident.
Police arrested five people but they have since been released.