- Three officers were injured while breaking up a large party in Boulder, Colorado on Saturday.
- Police responded to a party where hundreds of people gathered mostly without masks.
- Authorities say they’re pursuing legal charges against those found to be involved.
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Authorities in Boulder, Colorado say they’ll pursue charges after three officers were injured while breaking up a large party that turned violent on Saturday night.
“The City of Boulder condemns the behavior of those who organized and attended the party and will seek the strictest consequences – legal, economic and when relevant, academic – for anyone who engaged in violence or destruction of property. We are grateful that the injured officers are recovering and that no one else was hurt in this dangerous situation,” City Spokesperson Sarah Huntley said in a press release.
In a statement, police said that they responded to a party in University Hill at around 8 p.m. on Saturday. Somewhere between 500 to 800 people were gathered and refused to disperse following announcements from the police.
Police said partiers surrounded an armored rescue vehicle and threw rocks and bottles at officers.
One of the SWAT officers injured was hit in the face but was wearing a mask, and another was hit on the hand, Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold said. All three who were injured are recovering. Herold said police used tear gas to break up the crowd.
Several cars belonging to community members were damaged when rioters jumped on them and at least one car was damaged from being flipped over.
The Daily Camera, a local paper, also reported that some people set off fireworks.
Images and videos from the event show that there was no social distancing and only a few people wearing masks.
The Public Health Department is asking those who attended to get tested for the coronavirus and quarantine for at least 10 days.
“The videos from the party last night are shocking and disturbing, especially considering Governor Polis had just mourned the nearly 6,000 people that died in the last year with COVID in Colorado. This disregard of mask-wearing, disregard of social distancing, and disregard on limits on personal social gatherings clearly in violation of the orders from the state is unacceptable,” Jeff Zayach, BCPH Executive Director said.
No one was arrested on sight, but authorities say they have plenty of video and bodycam footage to help them identify perpetrators. They are also encouraging people to step forward with information.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty condemned the “outrageous” actions and called them “dangerous, selfish, and criminal.”
“I hear people refer to it as a party. I don’t regard flipping over a car as a party and I don’t regard people who throw bottles and rocks at firefighters and police as a party,” he said. “Those are criminal acts and will be treated as such.”
The University of Colorado Boulder called the events “unacceptable and irresponsible, particularly in light of the volume of training, communication and enforcement the campus and city have dedicated to ensuring compliance with COVID-19 public health orders.”
“Any student who is found responsible for having engaged in acts of violence toward the law enforcement or other first responders will be removed from CU Boulder and not readmitted,” they said in a statement.