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More Than 100 Arrested After Two Nights of Disturbances in College Town

April 29, 1990

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (AP) _ Revelers hurled rocks and bottles and police responded with tear gas during two nights of disturbances at a university festival, police said Sunday. At least 20 people were injured and 110 arrested.

The confrontations between partyers and police on Friday and Saturday nights occurred during the 58th annual ″Poly Royal″ celebration at California Polytechnic State University.

″The cops started blaring on the P.A. system: ’Assault on police officers will not look good on your resume 3/8‴ said freshman Heath Patton.

A statement issued jointly by the unive crowd threw back empty beer bottles.

Numerous homes and vehicles were damaged during the two nights of violence, authorities reported. Police said they made 30 arrests Friday, and 80 on Saturday.

Twelve police officers were injured on Friday, one of them suffering a broken arm, and at least other six people required medical treatment, authorities said.

At 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, about 125 officers moved in to break up a crowd, which threw bottles and rocks. Police fought back with fire hoses and tear gas. Most of the crowd was dispersed by 1:30 a.m. Sunday, said police Sgt. Daniel Blankey. Blankey said.

He said ″arrests were made for offenses ranging from failure to disperse to assault with a deadly weapon.″

Two officers were hurt, and numerous others received minor injuries. One person was hospitalized for a head injury.

The two-day Poly Royal open house usually attracts about 100,000 people to the 17,000-student campus next to the central coast city of 40,000, said university spokesman Don McCaleb.

Last week the San Luis Obispo-Atascadero area was named the best small community in the United States to call home by ″The Rating Guide to Life in America’s Small Cities.″ The guide cited the areas mild climate and ″easygoing charm.″

The Poly Royal was established as a showcase of student accomplishments, but parties and entertainment have become part of it.

Disturbances have occurred in the last few years, but none as large at those this weekend.

The trouble began Friday night when police and paramedics responded to a car accident near the campus and found a large crowd. The revelers began tossing rocks and bottles.

Thirty police officers were trying to calm the crowd, which grew to about 500 college-age people, when they were called away to another disturbance.

At least 25 people were reported fighting on Foothill Boulevard, and arriving officers were met with a barrage of bricks, rocks, tiles, bottles, street signs and other objects from a crowd estimated at 800 to 1,000 people, Blankey said.

Student leader Ricardo Echeverria, president of Associated Students of Cal Poly, issued a statement saying students want to prevent the kind of trouble that developed Friday night.

″However, with so many out-of-town visitors we are faced with many uncontrollable factors,″ Echeverria said.

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