COLUMBUS (WCMH) — An off-campus block party near The Ohio State University, known as Chitt Fest, turned destructive overnight.
Hundreds of students filled the street and at least five cars were flipped over along the avenue; several more had smashed out windows.
At least 30 CPD cruisers made their way down the avenue to disperse the crowds around 3 a.m. Sunday.
Ohio State University’s Communications Director called the destruction “unacceptable.”
Last night’s property destruction and willful disregard for safety just off campus is unacceptable. Ohio State will work with local law enforcement to identify and hold responsible any students who took part.
In a normal year, such behavior is appalling and dangerous. In a pandemic, the risk is even higher. Students should not be gathering in large groups and should be wearing masks and maintaining physical distance.Ben Johnson, OSU communications
Johnson encouraged students to cooperate with police, and to continue following safety and health directives.
Sophomore Claire Wollett works with a campus organization that is trying to help those whose property was damaged.
“Just because you want to drink and have fun, destroying other people’s property and disrespecting other students like that is not OK,” said Wollett, president of Never Walk Alone OSU.
Ohio State University President Kristina M. Johnson posted to Twitter Sunday afternoon, calling the behavior “unacceptable” and that it did not “represent who we are as Buckeyes.”
Melissa S. Shivers, senior vice president for Student Life, also condemned the actions at the gathering.
“Seriously, I don’t understand why any of you would engage in this behavior,” Shivers wrote in a letter to the OSU student body. “This wasn’t a party – this was sheer chaos that resulted in damage to property and could have resulted in harm to other people, other Buckeyes.”
Shivers added in her letter that it was “unfathomable” that the actions could happen.
Camden Snodgrass, a junior at Ohio State, watched from his window overnight as the crowd got bigger and more destructive.
“There’s a big difference between having fun and ruining other peoples’ property,” Snodgrass said. “Shocked, a little surprised, and honestly, just disappointed. When you think of Ohio State, you think of good things and if people are thinking that when they think of Ohio State, that’s not good for anyone who goes here.”
A sophomore who was out on Chittenden Avenue Saturday night said he left before things took a destructive turn.
“Mob mentality is an interesting one,” he said. “It’s amazing what people will do when they’re with a bunch of people that aren’t in a great state of mind.”
City street sweepers were brought in to clean up all the beer cans and trash left behind.
All of the flipped cars have been towed away, according to authorities.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Columbus Police at 614-645-4545 or to submit an anonymous tip, Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-461-8477 (TIPS) or on Twitter @OhioCrime.