State agency to review arrests at IUP celebration

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The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will review the events that took place around a pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration at Indiana University of Pennsylvania that resulted in numerous arrests and citations.

PEMA announced Friday it will conduct an “after action review” after university and Indiana County officials sought PEMA’s help.

On March 8, which was called “IUPatty’s,” there were rowdy disruptions by groups as large as several hundred people, including some students. This was the second year of disruptions, which also have taken place on other college campuses.

In a news release, PEMA executive director Glenn Cannon said, “AARs are something we routinely do at the state level following significant incidents.

“Experienced personnel from our Western Area office will lead dozens of stakeholders through the AAR so that community officials are better equipped to prepare for and handle a situation like this in the future.”

Also in a news release, IUP president Michael Driscoll said, “I’m thankful for PEMA’s willingness to help the entire community work together to collaboratively identify ways to better prepare and address this sort of activity.”

The news release quotes the chairman of the Indiana County commissioners, Rodney Ruddock, as calling PEMA’s involvement a “natural and prudent step.”

Earlier this week, Indiana, Pa., police said four IUP students were charged and another 50 were cited for offenses related to the pre-St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

During the March 7-9 weekend, 107 people were arrested on a total of 138 charges, said borough police Chief William Sutton. In all, there were 96 citations and 11 criminal complaints — mostly public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and disorderly gatherings, he said.

Three assaults and a rape also occurred during that period, the chief said. The rape occurred off campus, but the victim is an IUP student, he said. Police have a suspect in the rape, he said.

Borough police received 225 calls for service during that weekend, a 206 percent increase from the daily average, the chief said.

IUP spokeswoman Michelle Fryling on Friday said university police issued 52 citations.

She said that any students arrested or cited are subject to the university’s judicial process. Thirty cases have been referred to the university, she said.

Education writer Eleanor Chute: or 412-263-1955. Molly Born: or 412-263-1944. First Published March 28, 2014 1:51 PM

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