Spring Break Party Descends Into Riot

Tear gas, rubber bullets fired near UC Santa Barbara
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2014 1:36 AM CDT

At least six police officers were injured and more than 100 people arrested after a street party near the University of California at Santa Barbara turned into what police called a "major disturbance, emergency situation." Even before trouble began, 56 of the estimated 15,000 revelers at the unauthorized "Deltopia" party had been arrested, ABC 7 reports. Witnesses say the mood turned ugly when a police officer was hit in the head and injured with a backpack full of liquor bottles. Another officer was hit in the head with a brick.

Hundreds of police officers used tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets as the situation descended into a riot, with partygoers ripping out street signs, lighting small fires, and trashing vehicles. Dozens of people were hospitalized. Students say efforts to clamp down on the annual party, including noise restrictions, left many partygoers feeling frustrated. "I feel like these out-of-towners came in expecting music and dancing in the street, and when they didn't get that, they started tearing out stop signs," and burning things, a witness tells NPR. (More spring break stories.)

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