Three UCSB students were arrested during a Mardi Gras celebration in San Luis Obispo that deteriorated into a riot Saturday night.
Rob Bryn, spokesman for the San Luis Obispo Police Dept., said all three were arrested on charges of public drunkenness at separate times Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Bryn was unable to give names for the three students, but he said they were the only UCSB students out of the 130 people arrested over the weekend as of 6 a.m. Sunday morning.
The night’s festivities took a violent turn after police shut down two large parties near the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo campus at the Mustang Village apartment complex. Partygoers upset by the intervention threw bottles, rocks, beads and other assorted objects at police officers, who responded by firing non-lethal ammunition and tear gas at the rioters. Several dozen police officers and sheriff’s deputies dispersed a crowd of nearly 5,000 revelers at the scene of the disturbance.
Police enlisted the help of a helicopter equipped with a spotlight in their efforts to keep visitors out of the Cedar Creek apartment complex, another traditional hotspot for Mardi Gras parties. Officers also erected numerous roadblocks, blocking off at least one major intersection to car and foot traffic from all directions.
At one point, more than 100 partygoers rushed across the train tracks near Cedar Creek – despite police protests – because the roadblocks had cut off all other nearby crossings.
– The Associated Press also contributed to this report