Kent police are gearing up for another round of parties at the Kent Fest II event on Saturday.
Capt. Paul Canfield said officers are “prepared to act accordingly” if there is more turmoil on College Street, just west of campus on the weekend before spring final exams.
“We’ll be enlisting the same [police agencies], starting a little earlier, being a little more vigorous about parties as they develop,” he said.
By mid-afternoon Wednesday, 2,293 people responded to the Facebook Kent Fest II page that they would attend the 12-hour party, which begins at 9 a.m.
The page advises attendees to respect the police and avoid fighting so that “the cops will not shut the party down early.”
That’s what happened last Saturday, when about 3,000 partiers converged on College Street for the annual unsanctioned, daylong party.
“The crowd began throwing bricks and bottles at officers and others in the crowd,” Kent city police reported on its website.
That included medical personnel trying to help the injured, Canfield said.
That prompted Kent police to call in the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, Brimfield police and the SWAT team to sweep the street, tear-gas partiers and close down the revelry.
Thirty-three people — 11 of them Kent State students — were charged with underage drinking, littering, disorderly conduct, possession of marijuana and resisting arrest, among other offenses.
Much of the event — from dancing, to drinking and singing, to fleeing from authorities wielding tear gas — was captured in photos and in videos posted to Facebook.
On its website Tuesday, KSU asked for the public to help identify those who may have committed crimes. The university asked those with information to contact Kent police at 330-673-7732. One student did so Wednesday morning, Canfield said.
KSU spokeswoman Emily Vincent said the university tried to ward off problems by walking door to door with student leaders to remind residents of the “need to act responsibly and safely.”
“We emphasize the need of being good neighbors and discuss the negative impacts and dangers of excessive drinking,” she said.
Any student charged with a College Fest infraction in Portage County Municipal Court will face a hearing through the KSU Office of Student Conduct and could be placed on probation, suspended or dismissed from the university, she said.
Last weekend’s ruckus was the worst since 2009, when partiers lighted a bonfire in the street and about 50 people were arrested.
A College Street cleanup party at noon Sunday now is being advertised on Facebook. “Show some class and pick up some glass,” the invitation reads.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.