Arrests up at 'State Patrick's Day,' police say

Posted: March 02, 2010

Penn State's self-invented Irish holiday caused as much disruption as ever over the weekend, even though bars throughout State College did not open early and did not offer specials in hopes of calming what has become an alcohol-infused event in Happy Valley, police said.

Police made 160 criminal arrests, twice as many as on last year's "State Patrick's Day," said State College Police Capt. Dana Leonard.

More than half of those arrested were either visitors or non-Penn State students, Leonard said after analyzing the arrest results.

Spokesmen for Pennsylvania State University did not return calls for comment.

Students started State Patty's Day in 2007, when St. Patrick's Day fell over spring break and they didn't want to miss a chance to celebrate together. Since then, spring break has not coincided with St. Patrick's Day, but the event has drawn more people each year.

This year, several college officials on the 44,000-student main campus spoke out against the event.

Leonard said it appeared that State Patty's Day attracted more out-of-town visitors this year, including a man who was arrested for assaulting a police officer.

Most of the criminal arrests were related to public drunkenness, underage drinking, littering, and urinating in public, he said.

There were 24 cases of students who got medical help for alcohol-related problems, up from 21 last year. Police broke up 37 disorderly parties, up from 31. The department responded to 365 calls, up from 311, Leonard said.


Contact staff writer Susan Snyder at 215-854-4693 or ssnyder@phillynews.com

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