Police use tear gas to break up college pumpkin festival in Keene.

Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent

Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent

The Slatest
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Oct. 19 2014 2:29 PM

Police Use Tear Gas to Break Up College Pumpkin Festival Turned Violent

Police put on riot gear and used pepper spray and tear gas to break up violent skirmishes that broke out near Keene State College in New Hampshire Saturday night and early Sunday as an annual pumpkin festival suddenly took a turn for the violent. At least 30 people were injured at parties near the school that are thrown every year to coincide with the annual Keene Pumpkin Festival. And people just started throwing “everything they could find—rocks skateboards, buckets, pumpkins,” one witness said. Why? “People just got too drunk.”

And it was fun, apparently. “It's just like a rush. You’re revolting from the cops,” 18-year-old Steven French told the Keene Sentinel. “It’s a blast to do things that you’re not supposed to do.”

These apparently drunk crowds then spread out across the town and for some reason decided to flip over parked cars. Not satisfied with petty vandalism, the crowds began to light fires, according to NECN. One witness told NECN that police even used rubber bullets. “They just started walking on the street, with, like, mace, tear gas and these rubber bullets,” said one witness. At least 14 people were arrested, according to the Associated Press.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.