NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—This year's Cinco de Mayo holiday proved to be a big day for parties in the Fifth and Sixth Wards of the city, where Rutgers students nearing the end of their school year dominate the neighborhood.
City police were busy breaking up parties, issuing tickets, and making arrests early in the afternoon, according to police radio transmissions.
In one incident, three people were injured after a railing broke on deck in the rear of 178 Hamilton Street at about 5:20pm.
"Part of a railing on a rear porch broke away. It was about eight feet off the ground," said city spokesperson Jennifer Bradshaw.
"An unknown number of people fell and fire, EMS and police responded," Bradshaw said.
Originally described by a caller to police headquarters as a "porch collapse," first responders arrived on scene to find that a railing gave out, and at least one person fell off the balcony.
Police described a victim with a head injury, a victim with an ankle injury, and another with a "minor" injury.
At least one of them left the scene in an ambulance, as police broke up the party, and another person was arrested nearby for reasons that were not immediately clear.
A source in the neighborhood said that the house at 178 Hamilton would reguarly have massive parties during the daytime.
According to property records, the home is one of several rental properties owned by Timothy and Ana Maria Grove. The Groves were able to be reached at phone numbers on file with the city.
"The building inspections department went out to the scene last night and according to the report they are following up," said the city spokesperson. "I don't know about summonses at this time."
The railing has apparently had problems before, according to sources who claimed to have lived in the house previously.
"That was a great deck. Surprised it didn't happen sooner," said one commenter on the New Brunswick Today Facebook page.
Shortly after responding to the accident, police received reports of a disturbance a few blocks away on Condict Street, attendees of a large party at 8 Condict Street were "throwing bottles at 9 Condict Street."
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 and a community organizer, and an independent candidate for Mayor of New Brunswick.