Hundreds Of College Kids Riot During New Hampshire’s "Pumpkinfest"

Mayhem erupted at a pumpkin festival near Keene State College on Saturday night. At least 49 people were arrested, and 235 calls were made to police.

1. In Keene, New Hampshire, there is an annual Pumpkin Festival each fall, which got off to its usual start yesterday as thousands of residents and tourists gathered to pick and carve pumpkins.

3. Last year, the festival hit a new world record after 30,581 pumpkins were carved, lit, and placed downtown at one time, the Boston Globe reported.

This year the arrangement looked beautiful as well:

5. But by the evening, the event took a chaotic turn. Hundreds of students gathered in the streets and backyards, drinking excessively and starting riots.

7. Witnesses said that college students started throwing “anything they could find.”

Most of the damage was caused by students from surrounding colleges, not just Keene State students. Young people came from the University of New Hampshire, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Massachusetts, reported the Globe.

craziest thing I've ever been a part of #pumpkinfest #keenestate

— Paul DePlacido (@pdeplacido)

9. “Pumpkinfest has always been fun,” said Julie Conlon, a recent graduate of Keene State College. “Yeah, kids drink excessively, but it’s never been out of control. This year I watched thousands of kids pile into a backyard and kind of go crazy.”

Look at these thug gang-bangers in Keene, NH. #pumpkinfest

— Ray Wert (@raywert)

11. “There were about 4,000 kids in this backyard, and it almost felt like a war zone,” Ellery Murray, a sophomore at Keene State, told the Boston Globe.

13. “People were just throwing everything they could find — rocks, skateboards, buckets, pumpkins. It was actually kind of scary.”

Police helicopter warns kids to leave or face arrest. They respond with cheers, hula hoop. #riot #pumpkinfest #keene

— Jeff Good (@jgoodstories)

15. At least 30 people were injured near Keene State by Saturday evening, and 20 people were transported to hospitals, Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard told New England Cable News.

Look at these rioting thugs destroying precious property! RT @_JoeCruz: #keenestate #pumpkinfest

— Malty (@Malt_bia)

18. Police responded quickly and with force, bringing canine units, SWAT gear, and using tear gas, tasers, and pepper spray against the students, according to witnesses and reports on social media.

My weekend consisted of being in a riot, getting tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets by the cops 😎 #savage #pumpkinfest #keenestate

— Chris De Luca (@chrisdelux21)

21. “I watched cops roll in, I watched the fire department roll in, I watched state troopers roll in with their batons out, ready to take on the crowd,” said Conlon. “It was crazy.”

23. Between 2:30 a.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Sunday, there were 235 calls reporting disturbances or other offenses, and at least 49 arrests, the Associated Press reported.

25. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said state and local police worked to mitigate the chaos, and Keene State College President Anne Huot said the college had “tried working with the city and campus to prevent unruly conduct.”

“We deplore the actions of those whose only purpose was to cause mayhem,” Huot said.

AP Photo/Seth Meyer

27. Many people on Twitter drew parallels to the rioting in Ferguson and the events at Pumpkinfest, critiquing the way both were handled by media.

So CNN just gonna ignore the fact white ppl was rioting? #pumpkinfest

— #NYG (3-3) ♋️ (@717shid)

I see, @CNN. #pumpkinfest

— Ira Manson Family (@irathethird)

Look at these thugs,damaging their own neighborhood,how unamerican is this? #pumpkinfest

— Nick Undefeated (@KCINGUNDEFEATED)

#pumpkinfest "look at these thugs and hoodlums. They need to get a job"

— Beretta Scott King (@BaeLightyear)

White people in New Hampshire really need to do some self-reflection and regulate their animal impulses in the wake of #keenepumpkinfest.

— Sara Benincasa (@SaraJBenincasa)

Where are the leaders in the white community? They need to speak out #pumpkinfest

— Brian Fleurantin (@BrFleurantin)

"Why are they tearing up their own community?" #keenepumpkinfest

— Black Girl in Maine (@blackgirlinmain)

35. It’s unclear if the event, which happens annually in New England, will be canceled in future years, but Keene State’s president stressed that the students responsible “will be held accountable.”

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