The truth about the reported “near riot”

Anonymous letter to the editor in Opinions

October 27, 2011

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I’m writing to discuss the “near-riot” that took place on Saturday, October 22, 2011. I attended the party at the social hall at the Citizens Fire Co. The party was shut down due to attendees bringing alcohol onto the premises. However, when the cops searched the party after everyone left, they only found three bottles. These weren’t bottles of alcohol you buy at the liquor store, these were water bottles. They shut down a party over three water bottles instead of just telling people to throw them out. To clear up two things about the party: there was NO riot and there weren’t 300-400 people. After the party was let out, people traveled to their next location, wherever that was.

What hasn’t been addressed was that the party was a completely different incident from the situation that took place at McDonald’s. What happened at McDonald’s was simply a fight between two boys in a crowded restaurant of about 60, not 300-400. Instead of breaking the fight up, the police decided to bomb the whole restaurant with pepper spray. The cops “allegedly” maced one person and somehow the mace diffused into the whole restaurant. When someone is maced, it’s a straight shot. If the police only maced one person, the whole restaurant wouldn’t have to have been evacuated. I was in the restaurant when the pepper spray reached the dining area and all I had done was ordered food. There was no warning or police officers visible to assist those that were in the restaurant. Not only were innocent civilians attacked, but the employees of McDonald’s as well. Why would the police take such extreme measures to apprehend two kids?

I also don’t appreciate being told several different stories. I called into the police station and was told that they only maced one kid. However, this story is completely different from what others have told me. The other people were told (by the police) that there was a mace bomb thrown into the vestibule at McDonald’s.

Lastly, there is no “riot-group.”

As if the night couldn’t get any worse, the cops were antagonizing the people outside of the restaurant as well. The police threatened to use their mace again for those that weren’t leaving the scene.

This is the comment I left on the Express article:

I have several problems with the way this article has been presented. First of all, what is a “near-riot?” Either there was one or there wasn’t. Secondly, what went on at McDonald’s is completely SEPARATE from the party that happened at the hall of the Citizens Fire Co. The party shut down and people went their separate ways. There is no riot group running around Lock Haven, let’s face it, half of Pennsylvania doesn’t even know where Lock Haven is. I would like to clarify a couple of things: can 3-400 people fit in McDonald’s? NO. If even if there were that many people can 20 police officers stop the riot? That answer is also NO. There was no riot at either location. There was a scuffle between two people and the police thought it would be intelligent to mace the whole restaurant without notifying the innocent civilians inside. Also, I didn’t know two people were equivalent to a “large crowd.” This is article is simply a case of right and wrong, and terrible exaggeration.

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