Kent Police arrest 20 on less-active ‘Fake Patty’s Day’

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Students cross Main St. during Fake Patty’s Day on Saturday March 12, 2016.

Mitch Felan

Kent Police and Kent State students shared the luck of the Irish this ‘Fake Patty’s Day’ with only 20 arrests in Kent during the third annual celebration — a decrease of nearly half from last year. 

Fourteen of the 20 arrests were made for prohibitions; additionally, six people were charged with disorderly conduct by intoxication and four were charged with marijuana possession. 

“Honestly, (Kent Police) did so much preparation with (Fake Patty’s Day) that the people who got arrested pretty much broke into jail,” Kent Police Lt. Michael Lewis said in response to the lower arrest numbers. 

Lewis said he believes Saturday’s cold weather conditions, which were below freezing for most of the day, are to thank for the lower arrests. 

Kent State Community Resource Officer Tricia Knoles also pointed to the weather for her good news: The Kent State Police Department reported no arrests or summons on campus.

“Last year it got really out of hand and I think weather played a factor in that, too,” Knoles said. “It was a very nice day and much warmer than it was this year.”

The student-created holiday was not completely quiet for local police, however. According to records provided by Kent police, the station received 117 service calls; 21 calls involved traffic stops and 16 reported disorderly conduct. 

The other 80 calls reported miscellaneous offenses from drunkenness to property damage to parking complaints.

Lewis said the only people arrested Saturday were those who were not using common sense.

“We weren’t sifting through parties to see who was under the age of 21,” Lewis said. “These were people who were walking down the street drinking an open container of beer thinking it was OK.”

Knoles said Kent State students generally were smart about how they behaved Saturday, leading to less activity on the holiday compared to last year. 

“We had a couple students who were a little tipsy,” Knoles said. “Some of our officers gave them a ride back to their dorm and made sure that they got back safely.”

Knoles and Lewis also cite education and communication with the university for their success. The officers worked with the Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the City of Kent in preparation for the celebration. In particular, Lewis thinks that fraternities and sororities played a big part in keeping people safe.

“I give a lot of credit to the students who weren’t having parties on their front lawn. (They) didn’t advertise that they were having large parties at their houses,” Lewis said. “Having fewer people visible outside was less inviting to people walking around looking to join a party.” 

But police are not in the clear yet, as they are preparing to deal with more incidents this Friday when St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are set to begin in Kent.

Lewis said he is not too worried, as most St. Patrick’s Day activity takes place in downtown Kent. Knoles said she is not worried either.

“It’s probably going to be no different,” Knoles said. “It will be cold and snowy again, so I don’t foresee any issues with this Friday.”

Mitch Felan is a senior reporter, contact him at [email protected]