Halloween turned into a night of real-life horrors in Berkeley’s Southside neighborhood on Saturday when close to 1,000 rioters took to the streets, smashing cars.
The actions of several people resulted in several injuries and arrests.
According to Berkeleyside, trouble began around 10:30 p.m. when Berkeley Fire Department begun shutting down several large parties in the area–which is known for having a high concentration of fraternities—after receiving complaints that people kept joining and the party’s hosts wanted everyone to leave.
The streets were so thick with pedestrians that lights and sirens had to be used in order for authorities to pass through and arrive at their destinations.
Tonight the corner my house is on turned into a riot zone. Haven’t felt this unsafe in a long time. #Berkeley
— Kelsi K. (@KKranberry) November 1, 2015
At one point, Berkeleyside reports, there were close to 5,000 people int the streets and officers were told to return to the station to “gear up” with helmets and other equipment. A man dressed up as Jesus is believed to have started the riots, which included close to 1,000 participants and several more thousand onlookers.
Man dressed as Jesus in front of a cop car just started a riot with hundreds of others. Average Berkeley Halloween pic.twitter.com/eBq3uRfkny
— Atreyue Ryken ❄️ (@Atreyue) November 1, 2015
Just before 2 a.m. there were still close to 1,000 people on Telegraph and Durant Avenues. Around 2:30 a.m.–post daylight saving time–Berkeleyside notes that police had responded to at least three assaults that are believed to have been committed by the same three suspects. All three were reportedly detained, identified and arrested and at least one of their victims was hospitalized; a male who had been kicked in the head and was unresponsive.
Berkeley is known for student protests and movements. Although a few tweeters suggested tear gas and batons were used, those reports were denied by Berkeley Police Capt. Andrew Greenwood who told Berkeleyside none of the aforementioned were administered on the crowds.
On social media, one user wrote “only in [B]erkeley would they fight for their right to party.”
Photo: @RigelRobinson / Twitter