Hundreds Rioted In Fort Collins This Weekend
Crowd Causes Significant Damage At NewWestFest
Last Updated: 1002 days ago
Hundreds of people rioted in Old Town Fort Collins early Sunday morning, causing damage at NewWestFest.Rita Davis, spokeswoman for the Fort Collins Police Department, said the riot lasted several hours and caused significant damage to some businesses and vendor booths.According to Davis, the crowd began getting out of control at around 1 a.m. near College and Mountain avenues. Davis said people in the crowd threw beer bottles, patio furniture and other objects at officers."I did see bottles being thrown. That was after they started shooting into the crowd," said Desiree Street, who said she had just gotten off work when the rioting began.After being warned multiple times to disperse, Davis said SWAT members were brought in and tear gas and pepper spray were utilized to cow the crowd into order.They had their air soft guns with the pepper spray in them," said Street. "My boyfriend got pepper-sprayed just standing right next to me.""We're interested in protecting people who might be in the area and aren't involved in the riot. We're interested in protecting property and preventing property damage from occurring," said Officer Bob Younger. "Using a less lethal option like that is a good way of managing the crowd and preventing any serious injury or damage to occur."However, damage and injury did occur.The windows at Santa Fe Craftsman were boarded up Sunday after two people were thrown through the glass."I kind of pulled out what I could tell was salvageable," said store owner Bob Chriswell.Chriswell said he lost at least a thousand dollars in broken pottery."There's (also) loss of business, because people can't see into my store. The window is my advertising," he said. "It's an unfortunate thing and I want them to pay for it if I could, but no, I'm not really angry, I don't think. I'm kind of sad.""Fort Collins is not that kind of town. It's not a riot kind of town," he added.Police said the last riot of this scale in Fort Collins was six years ago near the Colorado State University campus after a series of off-campus parties of returning college students got out of control.The NewWestFest is the largest festival in Northern Colorado. The festival runs through Sunday and activities were scheduled to go on as planned.Videos of the riots can be found on YouTube.