Guelph police say their officers and city bylaw officials had a busy Saturday by responding to over 300 calls over a 17-hour period during homecoming celebrations.
The 310 calls from 10 a.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday, represents more than one new call every three and a half minutes, police said in a news release on Wednesday.
“To provide context, a typical 24-hour period sees approximately 200 calls for service across the entire city,” police said.
Among the calls included more than 50 for noise complaints and 29 for open liquor outdoors, along with what officers usually respond to on a typical Saturday.
Police said officers issued fines for hosting gatherings, attending gatherings, consuming alcohol outside, public urination and public intoxication.
Guelph police and other emergency services were also forced to deal with a massive party on Chancellors Way. It’s estimated that about 1,200 were in attendance at its peak.
This also meant that the service had to call in additional resources and officers, which comes with a hefty price tag.
“The additional deployment of Guelph Police personnel represents a cost of well over $30,000 and was necessary to ensure the safety of those who decided to attend the event and those members of the public who were in the vicinity of this gathering,” the service said.
“Even with additional resources on scene, managing the event was quite difficult for first responders due to ongoing safety concerns, specifically the constant throwing of beer bottles by many of those in attendance.”
Police said at one point, a beer bottle was thrown out of an apartment window at officers and landed on a cruiser, about a foot away from where two of them were standing.
Seven people were also taken to Guelph General Hospital from the street party for medical issues ranging from extreme intoxication to being struck by beer bottles thrown within the crowd, police said.
At one point, police said someone was running around shooting fireworks into the crowd.
A 19-year-old man from Mississauga was arrested in connection with the fireworks incident and charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose. He has a court date in January.
Police also added there was property damage in the area. One vehicle parked in a lot had its back window smashed, while another had its windshield smashed.
“The Guelph Police Service would like to acknowledge that the majority of those in attendance … were respectful to each other and to first responders,” police said.
“However, as we move forward, the Guelph Police Service encourages everyone in our city to act as responsible and law-abiding citizens.”
Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is also urging anyone who attended the street party to avoid unnecessary contact, monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, and get tested if symptoms do appear.
Spokesperson Danny Williamson said large gatherings that ignore public health guidelines put everyone at risk.
“Because the Delta variant spreads much faster and easier than other variants of COVID-19, these large gatherings can lead to a surge of COVID-19 cases among attendees and the family, friends and members of the general public who come into contact with them,” he said.