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NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—City police teamed up with cops from Rutgers University, North Brunswick, and Franklin Township to respond to a large disturbance in the city’s Sixth Ward.
An all-day party dubbed “Delafest” grew throughout the afternoon, as hundreds of residents and visitors filled Delafield Street and packed porches and rooves to capacity.
At one point, police arrived and attempted to disperse the crowd with pepper spray and at least one rough arrest of someone who appeared to be drinking in the street, according to eyewitnesses.
After the incident, police re-grouped at the Boylan Funeral Home, one block away and the department asked for help from neighboring municipalities.
With police and fire vehicles keeping their distance, party-goers smashed bottles and lit a large chair on fire as the party raged on. No major injuries were reported, though glass and plastic bottles flew through the air with great frequency, and fights erupted in the crowd.
Shortly after 6pm, about 30 police officers slowly descended on the block, forcing the party-goers to disperse into homes or elsewhere in the neighborhood.
Many of the officers used pepper spray and several threatened this reporter as they attempted to clear the area.
The party was reminiscent of Rutgersfest, a controversial tradition cancelled by the University after New Brunswick erupted in chaos in 2011.
Charlie is the founder and editor of New Brunswick Today, and the winner of the Awbrey Award for Community-Oriented Local Journalism. He is a proud Rutgers University journalism graduate, a community organizer, and a former independent candidate for mayor of New Brunswick.