Three Arrested at East Campus `Disturbance'By Sarah Keightley
Associate News Editor
MIT police arrested three people Friday night at an unauthorized party held at Talbot Lounge in East Campus and charged them with trespassing, disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer, and possession of a weapon, according to Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin.
Of those arrested, two were minors and one was 19 years old. No MIT students were arrested or injured.
A memorandum written by EC Housemaster Kenneth A. Oye and distributed to all EC residents on Saturday said, "The MIT police declared that the Talbot party was illegal because it was not registered with Residence and Campus Activities or the MIT Police. The MIT Police then ordered those attending to leave. Some of those attending the party did not want to leave. A struggle between MIT police trying to clear Talbot and some of those attending the party ensued."
Glavin said there were approximately 200 people at the party and that the majority of the crowd were of high school age. However, Oye said students told him there were between 50 and 100 people at the party.
Glavin said the party "was observed by our own officers." The party came to the Campus Police's attention because a party form had not been filed. Glavin said the party was broken up because it was "unauthorized."
Because "notable outsiders" were present, the Campus Police broke up the party for "public safety reasons." "Some of the characters were known troublesome people ... known to the Boston police. Boston [police] notified Cambridge [police] that some of these people were heading to an MIT party," Glavin said. She said advertising was a problem with the party because it was an "obvious attraction to outsiders."
The Campus Police had problems with people not affiliated with MIT being attracted to the party. "The difficulty for the officers was getting the party to shut down quietly," Glavin said. This resulted in the altercation, which "took an hour, maybe longer."
Oye said there was "some sort of a struggle, but exactly how it broke out, we don't know." He arrived in the middle of the incident. Oye added that he did not know who the "people hanging around were."
Oye said, "It was not an extremely violent conflict." He added, "If there were in fact gang members, I can understand why [the police] were concerned." He believes the "danger" lasted for about 10 to 20 minutes. "I've never seen so many police cars."
If there is a "potentially explosive situation, people are going to be concerned," Oye said.
Oye said the party at Talbot was a fundraiser for a community development project sponsored by an EC student. The student sponsor cleared the party with the dormitory social committee chairman, but not with the Residence and Campus Activities Office or the Campus Police, he said.
Institute policy calls for all parties to be cleared with the Residence and Campus Activities Complex. Oye said the same student had put on one or two other events without problems.
Oye added that he had heard reports from three sources who said the party was peaceful. "The disc jockey, the party sponsor, and party-goers told me that access to the party was controlled by the sponsor." Those attending the party were predominantly younger than college students, he said.
Two windows were broken, but there was no other damage, Oye said. He said using the term "riot" to describe the incident is "a little hyperbolic."
The Campus Police called the Cambridge Police for assistance due to the "scope of the problem," Glavin said. The incident involved all eight Campus Police officers on duty, along with one Cambridge police lieutenant and a few officers, she added.
The Metropolitan District Commission said the Cambridge Police called them in to assist on Friday, but they did not make any arrests. Glavin said she had no information that the Metro Police were at the disturbance, but noted that they might have sent a car in response to a Cambridge police request.
Alcohol consumption disputed
Glavin said, "It's our opinion that there was alcohol at the party." She said there was "a clear presence of alcohol on people's breath as reported by officers on the scene."
Oye said he helped the East Campus student sponsoring the party clean up and said there was "no evidence of alcohol consumption while we were cleaning up." He added that the party was loud, but there was no live band.
Glavin said that as the police officers "were about getting it squared away," many of the people leaving the EC party tried to get into a dance party sponsored by a student group affiliated with the Delta Sigma Theta national sorority. The party was an authorized function being held at La Sala de Puerto Rico in the Student Center. "We turned away 100 people from that party," Glavin said.
Others possibly arrested
According to Cambridge police log books, John Egelston, 19, was arrested at 10:30 p.m. Friday for disorderly conduct, possession of a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery of a police officer. Also, two juveniles were arrested for assault and battery of a police officer and for trespassing. These arrests were made by the Campus Police.
The Cambridge police may have made other arrests as well. Another log book entry at 10:25 p.m. stated that juveniles were arrested at Ames and Amherst Streets for disorderly conduct and assault and battery of a police officer. It did not say how many juveniles were arrested. A tally made at midnight said three adults and six juveniles were being held at the Cambridge station.
Cambridge police officials could not be reached for comment on the log book entries.
Oye said, "Some arrests were made on the street." Oye declined to comment on how the police handled the situation, but said he was looking into the situation further.
"The basic point is I'm very glad no one was seriously injured and the situation did not develop into a riot," Oye said. He commended EC students for being "smart enough to stay in their rooms." Oye said there have been a number of events held in Talbot, and about four events this year were for people not affiliated with MIT.
Glavin said the problem was discussed with James R. Tewhey, associate dean of student affairs, who will look at party procedures for the future.