State College Police Searching For ‘Persons Of Interest’ Following Penn State-Indiana Parties
Update, October 30: The State College Police Department said it’s successfully identified 42 individuals involved with last weekend’s downtown parties and no longer needs public assistance.
The department will continue investigating three large-scale apartment parties that occurred last weekend, each of which featured “well over 150, up to 300 persons” in attendance.
In a statement, the department said there has been “a major effort” by borough and university officials to address the sensitive subject.
“We wholly understand that this is a very polarizing subject with very extreme views on both sides,” the department said. “We appreciate the community’s assistance and understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times.”
Original Story: The State College Police Department is asking for help identifying 60 individuals who attended large-scale apartment parties last weekend.
The individuals in question, compiled in this online document, allegedly attended parties at State College apartment complexes during Penn State football’s season opener against Indiana on Saturday, October 24. The document includes dozens of pictures that appear to have been taken from social media clips.
Anyone with information is encouraged to reach out to the department by phone (814-234-7150), by email, or through an anonymous tip line. Police ask that you note the location, case number, and image number when identifying an individual.
The department’s search comes after officers busted parties at Penn Tower, HERE State College, and The Rise last weekend. In their report, police found each party consisted of more than 100 people and lacked proper social distancing and face masks, creating an increased risk for potential coronavirus spread.
The parties also violated local and state orders, including State College’s coronavirus mitigation ordinance.
“These illegal gatherings put the health, safety and welfare of our community at risk and puts undue strain on the local healthcare system,” the borough said in a statement Monday.
In conjunction with Penn State’s police, law enforcement is conducting a follow-up investigation to identify those involved with the “illegal gatherings.” Police said they’ll use video recordings to assist in identifying those involved “with the intent of issuing citations for the violation(s)” and potential $300 fines.
Additionally, those found to be Penn State students will be referred to the university for potential sanctions.
“The reckless and irresponsible gatherings that occurred this weekend fly in the face of our efforts as a community to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus,” Penn State President Eric Barron said. “We will be working closely with the borough this weekend and throughout the rest of the football season to stop negligent behavior. I’m proud of the efforts of the majority of our students, and I am determined to hold accountable those who would jeopardize not just their own safety, but the safety of other students and of our broader community.”
Some apartment complexes have already taken steps to address Saturday’s reported gatherings. Penn Tower closed its outdoor deck until further notice due to “irresponsible behavior of several hundred persons,” while The Rise said its management will meet with local and university officials to create plans to address parties in the future.
“Keeping State College safe and Penn State University open will take a collective effort from everyone,” the borough said. “We thank everyone for your cooperation with this serious health and safety matter.”
Saturday’s reported gatherings came just one day after Pennsylvania recorded 2,219 new coronavirus cases, a record single-day high for the commonwealth at the time. Centre County reported 81 new cases over the weekend, bringing its total to 4,070 since the first case was confirmed in March.
As of Wednesday morning, Centre County has reported 4,138 coronavirus cases since March.
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