By Kristin Zachary
Friday, November 1, 2013
Thousands gathered for Halloween celebrations at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and in downtown Greenville on Thursday with few problems, officials said, although an assault and a robbery occurred near campus as crowds dispersed.
With temperatures hovering above 60 degrees, Greenville and ECU police said good weather brought out above-average attendance at gatherings in a cordoned-off downtown area and at ECU’s first Midnight Madness at the football stadium.
Several thousand people traveled through ECU’s campus on Thursday night, and, even with alcohol as a factor for many participating in Halloween celebrations, ECU police’s Lt. Chris Sutton said Friday that officials were able to maintain a safe environment for students and visitors.
“I feel like it was a successful night,” Sutton said. “It’s unfortunate we had these incidents.”
Officers patrolling the area of 14th Street and Berkley Road near Dowdy-Ficklen and College Hill about 2 a.m. “came upon an individual that was lying in the roadway that was unconscious as a result of an assault,” Sutton said.
Sutton said he was attacked by two black males, one with short dreads and a toboggan and the other with black Adidas pants. An alert from the university earlier said five or six people in a group were involved in the attack.
The man was transported to Vidant Medical Center for injuries, and the suspects fled toward College Hill Drive, the alert said.
His name and age were not available on Friday, and no update on his condition was available. Sutton said he did not appear to have life-threatening injuries.
Officials have been unable to confirm if he is an ECU student.
The second crime took place between 2:30 a.m. and 2:50 a.m. near the Jenkins Fine Arts Building and Fifth Street, the alert said.
A group of eight or nine men and women robbed two people of their cellphones. No weapon was reported in the alert.
The suspects separated into two groups. Four men and one woman fled in a blue Toyota Camry heading east on Fifth. The rest ran toward central campus.
A case report from the Greenville Police Department indicates the victims, a man and a woman, both are 23. One is from Charlotte and the other from Maryland. Neither is enrolled, ECU officials confirmed on Friday.
Police said about 5,000 students and guests attended ECU’s alternative, non-alcohol event at the stadium, and between 6-8,000 partiers were downtown. Few problems were reported as a result.
Sutton said one woman was arrested at the Mendenhall Student Center bus stop, which was acting as a “transportation hub.” An altercation occurred there, and the woman struck a police officer who attempted to break up the fight, he said. The woman was charged with simple affray and assault on a government official.
Three citations were issued for marijuana possession, and three were issued for alcohol violations, Sutton said. He estimated there were a few EMS calls as a result of over-intoxication.
Sutton credited Midnight Madness event planners and a well-behaved crowd. As many as 2,500 students and guests were at Dowdy-Ficklen at one time, with an estimated 5,000 passing through during the course of the evening.
Sutton said the event was an “epic success.” It previously was held at Mendenhall. With the “new location about as far away from downtown as you will find on our campus,” Sutton said the crowd was larger than expected but more spread out with almost a third of the stadium at their disposal for activities.
The extra space allowed for a “more docile crowd,” he said.
A downtown celebration also brought an above-average number of revelers, but the group was not out of hand, according to Sgt. Joe Friday of the Greenville Police Department.
Friday said there were sporadic noise complaints and a few fight calls but it was “overall a good evening.”
The department also conducted a driving while impaired checkpoint with the State Highway Patrol on Fifth Street near 10th Street. Results were unavailable Friday from Greenville police, but Highway Patrol reported they had nine people cited for DWI, four provisional license violations, six alcohol violations, one no operator’s license citation, two driving while license revoked citations and three seat belt violations.
The departments are continuing to investigate the assault and robbery near ECU’s campus.
Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to contact the ECU Police at 328-6787. Information can be provided anonymously to CrimeStoppers at 758-7777.
Contact Kristin Zachary at firstname.lastname@example.org and 329-9566.
via The Daily Reflector.