Hamilton police lay charges after ‘unsanctioned,’ ‘fake’ McMaster University homecoming party

Click to play video: 'Weekend university street parties get out of control in Hamilton'
Weekend university street parties get out of control in Hamilton
WATCH ABOVE: It was not officially sanctioned by McMaster University, but students now face school discipline after a rowdy street party in Hamilton Saturday. Sean O'Shea reports – Oct 4, 2021

Hamilton police say they have laid charges in connection with a large “fake” McMaster University homecoming party that took place Saturday and attracted upwards of 5,000 people at its peak.

Police said a car was overturned and street signs were damaged during the “unsanctioned” event in the area of Dalewood and Westwood. Police responded to the gathering at 12:30 p.m.

Investigators charged two people for liquor licence violations, and five others were charged for breach of the peace/cause disturbance.

Officers closed some of the roads in the Westdale and Ainsley Wood neighbourhoods after McMaster’s football game against Waterloo at nearby Ron Joyce Stadium attracted a flood of students in the area.

Videos and photos from the scene showed little to no physical distancing, mask wearing or safety measures being upheld amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Investigators released a photo of a man with brown hair, who was wearing a blue baseball cap, a burgundy and yellow rugby shirt and khaki shorts at the time of the incident. Police said they’d like to speak to him in connection with the flipping of a white Mazda.

Hamilton Police/Handouts
Hamilton Police/Handouts. Hamilton Police/Handouts

McMaster President David Farrar issued a statement and an apology Sunday, calling the “gathering of several thousand people” a “fake homecoming.”

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“McMaster students, and any others who chose to be part of the gathering of several thousand people in our community on Saturday, owe our neighbours, our emergency workers and every other student an apology for the disruptions, disrespect of property and disregard of those who live in our community,” said Farrar. “On their behalf, I apologize for this behaviour, particularly by those who caused damage and put anyone at risk.  Such actions are completely unacceptable.”

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“The vast majority of our students chose not to be part of the gathering, but those who did, and especially those who chose to be reckless and destructive, put themselves and others at risk,” added Farrar.

Investigators said glass bottles, cans and other things were also thrown at officers and that a police car was damaged. However, there were no reported serious injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 905-546-3833 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

With files from Rick Zamperin


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