Boulder, CO – Partygoers hurled rocks and bricks at police and flipped over a car as officers tried to break up a massive gathering of 500 to 800 people during a party-turned-riot on March 6.
Three SWAT officers suffered injuries due to being hit by the projectiles, the Boulder Police Department (BPD) confirmed to KUSA.
A fire truck and an armored rescue vehicle were heavily damaged by the mob, police said.
The party took place near Pennsylvania Avenue and 10th Street in an area University of Colorado Boulder students refer to as “The Hill,” according to the news outlet.
In addition to violating the county’s COVID restrictions limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people, many of the partygoers were not wearing masks, KCNC reported.
BPD tried to disperse the crowd during the afternoon, but the mob refused to leave.
As the situation escalated, officers and SWAT team members used a siren and two canisters of tear gas to break up the riot, according to CBS News.
Partygoers hurled bottles, rocks, and bricks at the officers, flipped a car, launched fireworks, and damaged fire and police vehicles by the time the incident was over, according to the BPD.
.@boulderpolice is currently investigating hundreds of tips related to last night’s large disturbance on University Hill neighborhood to identify the individuals responsible for assaulting first responders and damaging numerous amounts of property https://t.co/rzIblxI06v pic.twitter.com/vzoSVgT1kV
— City of Boulder (@bouldercolorado) March 7, 2021
Street signs were stolen as well as a vehicle, which later turned up outside of town, KUSA reported.
A total of eight vehicles were damaged, including two that were totaled, police said.
The loss of the totaled vehicles was estimated at $43,500, according to KUSA.
The area was littered with broken glass and other debris by the time the rioters left the area at about 9 p.m.
— Mitchell Byars (@mitchellbyars) March 7, 2021
BPD Chief Maris Herold said that instead of sending officers into the mob to make arrests, they will be using bodycam footage to identify and apprehend those responsible for the violence, CBS News reported.
The BPD announced on Tuesday it had received over 950 tips from the public about people who attended the party, KUSA reported.
.@boulderpolice is asking for the public's help to identify individuals in photos and video in connection with the March 6, 2021 disturbance on University Hill.
— City of Boulder (@bouldercolorado) March 9, 2021
They’ve also asked anyone with video from the incident to forward them to police, according to KCNC.
Detectives are reviewing the tips and have identified five suspects accused of committing “riot-related crimes” thus far, according to the department.
The BPD said its first priority it to identify the suspects who attacked the officers, destroyed property, or committed other violent acts on Saturday night, KCNC reported.
They will then seek out those responsible for hosting the gathering.
Lastly, investigators will focus their attention on suspects who failed to disperse during the riot, KCNC reported.
“Detectives will review every lead we have to identify and arrest those responsible for this reprehensible and unacceptable behavior,” Chief Herold told KUSA.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said his office is working with the BPD to “determine the identities of the people who damaged private property and assaulted first responders because they should be held fully responsible for their outrageous actions,” KUSA reported.
The University of Colorado Boulder said that any student found to have been involved in the riot could be subject to disciplinary action, to include expulsion, according to KCNC.
“We condemn the conduct on University Hill on Saturday,” the university tweeted. “Any student found responsible for acts of violence toward law enforcement or first responders will be removed from CU Boulder and not readmitted.”
We condemn the conduct on University Hill on Saturday. Any student found responsible for acts of violence toward law enforcement or first responders will be removed from CU Boulder and not readmitted.
Read more at https://t.co/k9tJGEL2SC
— CU Boulder (@CUBoulder) March 7, 2021
University of Colorado Boulder Student Body President Amalia Frommelt said those who participated in the riot “should be ashamed” of themselves.
“You have embarrassed this university, you have embarrassed your peers, and you have jeopardized the safety and health of your neighbors and community at large,” Frommelt said.