Police, Hospital Begin to Release State Patty's Statistics; More Arrest Numbers Expected Sunday
UPDATED @ 8:31 p.m. Feb. 26: Police have released more detailed arrest and call statistics for the State Patty's weekend. An updated news report is posted here. Earlier coverage is posted below.
UPDATED @ 12:33 p.m. Feb. 26: The Mount Nittany Medical Center emergency department has treated 60 patients thus far for alcohol-related injuries and conditions over State Patty's Day weekend, hospital spokeswoman Nichole Monica said.
Shortly before noon Sunday, she said the emergency department saw seven such patients on Friday; 38, Saturday; and 15, Sunday so far. (The Sunday figure includes those who arrived after midnight in the overnight hours.)
The facility reported it handled 69 alcohol-related cases over State Patty's Day weekend in 2011.
Earlier coverage is posted below. StateCollege.com will continue to post State Patty's-related details as they become available.
UPDATED @ 9:51 a.m. Feb. 26: Police-activity tallies from State Patty's Day weekend have begun to roll in.
The Centre County Alcohol Task Force, one of several groups that conducted special details in the State College area this weekend, said it issued pending DUI charges against seven drivers. The task force also issued 43 non-traffic citations, all of them related to alcohol, according to a news release.
In addition, task-force members issued eight traffic citations and 93 warnings. The members include officers from the Ferguson Township, Patton Township, Spring Township and Bellefonte borough police departments.
The task-force numbers do not include arrest and other totals from general-patrol efforts conducted by State College borough, Penn State and other police agencies. Some of those general-patrol tallies should be released Sunday afternoon.
StateCollege.com will post updated information. An earlier report is posted below.
Earlier report, posted @ 5:44 p.m. Feb. 25:
Sixteen hours in, overall police activity and downtown traffic for State Patty's Day 2012 may be down slightly from 2011 levels, State College officials said.
Exact police-call and arrest tallies weren't immediately available as of 4 p.m. Saturday. But police Lt. Chris Fishel said the volume of people outside appears lighter than it was last year.
"I think the weather is helping," Fishel told reporters.
Late-afternoon temperatures hovered around the freezing mark -- markedly more chilly than conditions for State Patty's Day 2011. Snowy early-morning conditions slowed traffic, too, as responders handled about 40 weather-related calls -- many for fender-benders.
Police activity peaked about 2 p.m. on State Patty's Day last year, when calls and arrests stemming from the unofficial drinking holiday reached new highs. This time around, Fishel projected, the peak may materialize later in the day.
Another sign that State Patty's activity may be on a decline: parking trends. By 4:30 p.m., borough parking Manager Charles DeBow said, spaces were available in all three of the borough's big garages and on downtown streets.
That wasn't the case by late afternoon last year, when parking facilities were jammed up, he said. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic patterns seem to suggest fewer people are in town, DeBow said.
On the law-enforcement side, here's a look at some calls and trends that police have handled:
- A Nissan SUV struck a pedestrian about 3:15 p.m. just east of Pugh Street on East Beaver Avenue, police said. Witnesses said the pedestrian ran out into traffic. He was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center; the extent of his injuries was not immediately clear.
- Officers have broken up a number of apartment parties -- some at the request of building-maintenance crews, Fishel said.
- Police responded to at least two DUIs early Saturday, Fishel said. One involved a man who attempted to steal and ride a bicycle. (Riding a bicycle while under the influence qualifies as DUI in Pennsylvania.)
- A variety of relatively minor altercations have been reported in town. According to one report, beer bottles were thrown at a taxi; according to another, someone was punched in the face and had his hat stolen.
- A customer at the Shandygaff was arrested overnight after he refused to leave the Calder Way bar and yelled ethnic slurs at the staff there, police said.
- In a much earlier incident reported Friday, a resident of the University Gateway complex, 616 E. College Ave., awoke to find a man standing in her bedroom, police said. They said the man was later identified as Luis Angel Serafin and apprehended. Also wanted in Blair County, he was jailed in lieu of posting $15,000 bail, according to the police report. He remained listed as an inmate Saturday afternoon at the Centre County Correctional Facility.
Fishel said nearly the entire State College police force is working this weekend, along with officers from surrounding agencies. State police will be working in the borough Saturday night, as well, though they do not plan to bring any police horses to town, he said.
More downtown bars have closed or shortened their hours for State Patty's Day 2012 -- a move requested by borough police Chief Tom King. Many bars that have remained open are seeing lines.
But State Patty's Day is not so much a bar event as it is a party event, Fishel said. He said police will continue to monitor residential areas closely.
Started six years ago by some Penn State students, State Patty's Day has mushroomed into the busiest time of year for local police. Community-outreach efforts to help undermine the event have grown, as well. Sober volunteers are walking through the downtown area Saturday, part of a Community Volunteer Weekend series of events.
Earlier coverage is available via the reports linked below.
- Lion's Den, Shandygaff to Close for State Patty's Day; Liquor Stores to Shorten Hours (Feb. 16, 2012)