UD St. Patrick’s belated celebration ends in 17 arrests



Lowes Street on UD’s campus site of several police clashes in March in last 10 years.

Police confirmed Monday that 17 people were arrested at the University of Dayton over the weekend during a belated St. Patrick’s Day celebration that turned destructive when a vehicle was overturned.

According to UD officials, 13 of those arrests were non-students. Nine people were arrested in one specific incident on Saturday, when partiers on Lowes Street overturned a parked car and stood on top of it and just one of those arrests involved a student. The arrests happened as officers were clearing the street.

Savalas Kidd, assistant vice president and chief of police, said the university wanted to acknowledge the students who stayed away, but said there is “no excuse for the destructive, unsafe behavior” from some of the people in the student neighborhood.

“Jeopardizing the safety and security of our community cannot and will not be tolerated,” Kidd said. “When our officers witness behavior that is unsafe or violates the law, it is their duty to take action to protect our campus community.”

UD officials said there will be ongoing discussions both internally and with Dayton law enforcement regarding how UD responds to future large campus gatherings, particularly in the spring semester.

But when asked if the university will continue to make changes to the academic calendar taking St. Patrick’s Day into consideration, the officials said the academic calendar is not based on one event or date. The academic calendar differs year-to-year and is set around UD students’ educational needs, academic requirements and the dates of Easter and spring graduation.

“Campus safety remains the University’s top priority,” said Bill Fischer, vice president for student development. “We know and appreciate the overwhelming majority of our students are here to learn and positively contribute to our community.”

UD was on spring break from March 13 through March 17, which was St. Patrick’s Day. Residence halls were closed until Sunday, March 19.

UD’s administration would not discuss what kind of discipline the students would receive.

“The university cannot discuss specific student discipline or medical information because of federal privacy laws,” officials said. “But students were warned before the weekend that violations of university expectations or applicable laws could result in criminal charges, fines and a range of disciplinary actions, including expulsion. We are also aware that a number of people present Saturday were non-students and visitors.”

This weekend’s incident comes just three years after another St. Patrick’s Day clash between multiple police departments and partygoers. On March 10, 2020, more than 1,000 people gathered on Lowes Street, and police began ordering people to disperse around 11 p.m. Around 2:15 a.m., students finally went back to their homes. A similar incident occurred during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in 2018.

In 2015 and 2014, crowds celebrating Flyers NCAA basketball wins clashed with police. In 2015, one Dayton officer was hurt after he was struck in the head with a full beer can, and six people were arrested. In 2014, after a Flyers win over Syracuse which signaled the first time UD was in the Sweet 16 since 1984, 32 people were arrested and eight officers were injured.

Staff writers Eric Schwartzberg and Holly Souther contributed to this story.

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