Police issued a Public Safety order for people to disperse from the neighborhood on St. Patrick's Day.

UD Police Chief: School can’t have ‘repeat’ of last year’s St. Patrick’s Day

Chief Rodney Chatman’s message comes one year after students on Lowes Street reportedly threw objects at police and shot fireworks into crowds of people on the March 17 holiday. By 6:30 p.m., officers arrived in riot gear and ordered parties indoors, though many at first ignored those commands.

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“Understand we can’t have a repeat of what occurred last year,” Chatman said. “That’s not who we are as Flyers.”

Though less violent and disruptive, the 2018 incidents served as a reminder of the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day campus riot.

More than 1,000 people rioted in UD’s student neighborhood in 2013, leaving broken bottles and damaged cars, including a police cruiser, in their wake on Kiefaber Street. Law enforcement from 10 jurisdictions responded to the riot five years ago.

The university has dealt with a series of major St. Patrick’s Day disturbances dating back to the early 1980s.

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Students will be returning from spring break on St. Patrick’s Day this year, which is just 11 days away.

The school has implemented a strict set of housing rules in an attempt to avoid the debauchery that ensued last year. Students will not be permitted to move back into campus housing until 3 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, according to an email sent out

The safety of students, campus police and the rest of the community is the “No. 1 priority,” Chatman said in his video.

“We understand that many students will want to celebrate with their friends,” Chatman said. “We’re asking that you make safe and responsible decisions.”


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