UK & World News

  • 7 April 2014, 7:37

Spring Break Party Turns Into Riot

Around 100 people were arrested and more than 40 people taken to hospital after a college party descended into a riot with rocks, bottles and bricks hurled at police.

Officers responded with tear gas, pepper spray and "foam projectiles" after violence erupted at the annual spring break event, known as Deltopia, in southern California.

Trouble flared in the beachside area of Isla Vista, Santa Barbara, on Saturday night, following a police officer being hit in the face with a backpack filled with bottles of alcohol.

Authorities said some members of the crowd of around 15,000 then began throwing missiles at officers, setting fires, and damaging police vehicles.

Kelly Hoover of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office said: "It was an emergency situation where we had to call in mutual aid.

"They have had civil disturbances before in Isla Vista, but it has been many years since something like this."

At least five officers were injured in the violent confrontation, including one officer who was hit in the face with a brick, and two others who were both hit in the hand with bottles.

Earlier, authorities had responded to reports of a stabbing, and found several people carrying weapons.

Ms Hoover said: "It really was ridiculous.

"Deltopia attracts out-of-towners who come in and are not invested in our community and there are some who come to cause trouble."

Calm was restored by Sunday morning after back-up support was called in from neighbouring Ventura County.                 

The majority of residents in Isla Vista are students at the the nearby University of California, Santa Barbara.