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Kalamazoo Public Safety uses tear gas to break up WMU House Crawl


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) --  For the second weekend in a row, students near the WMU campus  threw a “house crawl”, a movable party in the Lafayette Street area.

With the help of the nice weather and social media, it grew to an estimated two-thousand people.

Public Safety initially chose to just monitor the event until fights began breaking out between the students.

There are reports that students assaulted an ice cream truck that wandered into the area, and were throwing bottles at passing cars. 

When the officers intervened, the crowd turned on them. Rocks and bottles were thrown and the officers responded with tear gas, which dispersed the crowd.

Furniture was burned and the streets were littered with broken glass and cans.

There were no reports of injuries and no arrests yet.

There is a decade’s long history of spontaneous student gatherings turning into police confrontations in the Lafayette Street area where there is a concentration of off-campus housing.

In recent years, Public Safety has tried to discourage it with active patrols and zero tolerance for excessive noise. Apparently it doesn’t always work.