Local News

Apr 7, 2014 11:02 AM by KSBY Staff

Cleanup continues in Isla Vista after violent spring break party

Cleanup in Isla Vista continues after a spring break party turned violent this weekend.

The party, known as Deltopia, drew 15,000 people Saturday night, according to the Santa Barbara County Sherriff's Office.

More than 100 people were arrested and at least six law enforcement officers were injured.

Law enforcement agencies from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties joined forces trying to control the unruly crowd.

Devin Lindley, who attended the party, says, "I was covering for a few minutes. As long as I could hold my breath, covering my eyes... and it just wasn't enough. I came up to breathe and got blasted with tear gas. It was the worst experience I've ever dealt with. My eyes, I wasn't sure if my eyes were bleeding, how long I was going to last, my lungs."

Lindley wasn't alone.

"I just got tear gassed. I was with my buddy when he got shot with a rubber bullet. It was horrible," said another party-goer, Mikey Fernandez.

Law enforcement closed the beaches in previous years for this annual party, but in 2012, it moved to Del Playa Drive.

More than 100 law enforcement officers were assigned to patrol the party, and one of them was breaking up a fight when he was hit in the head with a backpack full of bottles, sheriff's officials say.

"After that, a large crowd gathered and individuals began throwing rocks, bricks, bottles at sheriff's deputies and at law enforcement that were there," says Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer Kelly Hoover.

Hoover says when other deputies ran to help him, it started a mass mob mentality.

"We hopped the fence and were trying to get into this house everyone was in. We got trapped in the corner though, and there was gas from both sides hitting us. It was pretty rough. It was definitely the worst experience," says party-goer Jamie Darr.

"People were yelling and screaming," Fernandez says. "These kids pushed metal trash cans into the middle of the road and then just started stacking them to make a barricade, I guess."

"It was terrible. I was trying to get away, running through peoples' yards and seeing windows, people inside, their faces pure terror, and they wouldn't let anyone inside," Lindley says.

But some party-goers say law enforcement officers were just doing their job.

"Three words come to mind today... Disgusting, ridiculous, and disappointing," Hoover says.

Fourty-four people were taken to the hospital Saturday night.

Law enforcement installed video cameras this year, specifically for this event.

They'll be used to sort out who was involved with certain actions.

Community leaders will be meeting soon to review this situation and figure out a plan for next year.

Residents say Sunday morning, the streets were lined with cigarette butts, red cups, and broken glass.

Car windshields were broken, their side mirrors broken off, and stop signs were uprooted.

One resident says the trash left behind was the worst she's ever seen after a party in Isla Vista.

"Honestly, the fact that we let people from other colleges and other states come and party with us and they leave a mess like this only to have them thanking me, when, in reality they just get to leave in the morning and not live with this," says Isla Vista resident Camila Gerardi.

It's believed many of the party-goers were out-of-towners leaving their mess behind for Isla Vista residents to deal with.

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