Ottawa police say 2,000 people attended a street party in Sandy Hill after Utawa’s Panda Game victory

OTTAWA – The Panda Game festivities in the Sandy Hill neighborhood of Ottawa ended with partygoers taking over a residential street, turning a car around, leaving a trail of garbage and trash.

Mayor Jim Watson says he is “absolutely disgusted” by the incidents, and Ottawa police say “several cases of criminal behavior” are under investigation after a large crowd gathered near the University of Ottawa campus late Saturday night.

About 2,000 students descended on the neighborhood after 6 p.m. 8pm to celebrate the Gee-Gees victory over Carleton University in the annual football match on Saturday afternoon.

Police say a car was overturned and one person was assaulted during the incident while paramedics transported seven people to the hospital.

Owen Stanton-Kennedy said a crowd began to form between 6pm and 7pm on Saturday and police had driven past trying to disperse it.

“After a while, someone shouted, ‘They can’t stop us, we can still hold our street party,'” Stanton-Kennedy said.

CTV News Ottawa cameras were on the scene when a major street party took over Russell Avenue, between Somerset Street and Templeton Street at about 6 p.m. 23:30 The footage showed hundreds of people in the middle of the street, with some people jumping on a overturned vehicle.

Panda games

As the crowd spread early Sunday morning, a witness told CTV News Ottawa: “Kids went crazy and they liked turning three cars and were like partying on it.”

“It’s just crazy.”

The police cruises in Ottawa were on site to monitor the party and block off the road late Saturday night.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, police said investigators looked at several cases of criminal behavior and reviewed social media and video of the scene.

Ottawa police and bylaw increased patrols in Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa South and Glebe, along with around TD Place, before and after the game Saturday.

“The events before and after the game were very safe and did not disturb the neighborhood. But just after 8pm, large crowds began to gather in Sandy Hill at several addresses,” police said.

“OPS relocated a large number of officers and called members of the emergency services. The officers worked to control and manage groups of people with partners from the RCMP and city bylaws, paramedics and Ottawa Fire Services.”

Police say the crowds in some cases became “very disturbing” in the area of ​​Russell Avenue.

“In one incident, a car was overturned and a person was assaulted. Police are reviewing evidence and will raise any applicable charges under the reopening of the Ontario Act, the Liquor License Act, city bylaws as well as all criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada,” said police Sunday afternoon.

“This behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Investigators have been tasked with identifying anyone who has committed crimes. OPS will also work with University of Ottawa and Carleton University staff where students from them were involved in this behavior.”

At 13 o’clock on Sunday, no one was charged with the incidents.

Panda games

Mayor Watson says he has spoken to Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly about the incident, and several investigations are underway.

“I am completely outraged at the behavior of those involved in the unruly party on Russell Avenue after yesterday’s Panda Game,” Watson said on Twitter Sunday morning.

“Individuals, including police officers, were injured and private and public property were damaged.”

The mayor added that some of the students’ behavior is “completely unacceptable.”

“Those involved should be ashamed of their idiotic and immature behavior,” Watson said.

“The vast majority of students enjoyed the activities before the game as well as the game itself. Unfortunately, events after the match in Sandy Hill were devastating, especially as we continue our match against COVID-19.”

During a CTV News at 6 a.m. Sunday night, Watson responded to criticism from some neighbors that there were no police.

“The problems arose after 9 o’clock, and my understanding is that no serious activity took place at 9 o’clock, the police started to move some of their reinforcements out, and then I think unfortunately that was when social media lit up, and people said, ‘Come to Russell Avenue,’ said Watson.

“Obviously thousands showed up. The lesson has been learned and I know the boss will review this.”

The mayor says he will meet with Chief Sloly and Coun. Mathieu Fleury on Monday to discuss the situation.

A photo posted on social media at 1am showed a car turning around and being damaged in the middle of Russell Avenue while rubbish filled the street.

Steve Higham posted a video on Twitter showing thousands of people on Russell Avenue. Higham told CTV News Ottawa on Sunday afternoon that it was “just over three hours” before he saw any police activity, and by then the crowd was already spreading due to the rain.

“You could hear people start cheering, and there was just a group of people who for some reason decided it was a good idea to turn a car around,” Higham said in an interview with CTV News Ottawa.

Witnesses say the owner of the car confronted the people who turned his vehicle and he was punched in the face.

Higham said he decided he would sit on the porch of his home in Russell Avenue Saturday night to prevent people from going to the restroom of his house.

“I watched how people stood on it like it was on the side and then rolled again, which was pretty scary, I was worried they would squeeze people or it would fall on top of someone,” Higham said.

“I had expected at the time that officers would sweep in and move people together, but that did not happen. The police sat a little at the end of the street and saw things happen.”

Stanton-Kennedy says he heard a “giant crash” halfway through the evening and later discovered it was the car that was being flipped.

“They trampled on the car and tried to destroy it, they used street signs that they had taken down, and also one of the metal barriers that I think were erected across the crowd,” Stanton-Kennedy said.

Owen Wood attended a party in the area.

“Towards the end of the night it became more intense, more people, the level of intoxication was probably more and probably more irresponsible towards the end of the night,” Wood said.

Nurses in Ottawa say seven people were transported to Sandy Hill Hospital Saturday night to be treated for minor injuries or alcohol poisoning. All seven people were listed in stable condition.

Coun. Fleury told CTV News Ottawa Sunday morning that Ottawa police, the Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario are investigating the incidents in Sandy Hill.

In a statement on Twitter, Fleury called the events Saturday night “regrettable and unacceptable.”

“I urge all authorities to fully investigate; press charges and fines to organizers and those who participated,” Fleury said Sunday afternoon. “Such hooliganism is selfish, endangers society and cannot continue without consequences.”

In the days leading up to the Panda Game, police, bylaws, and both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University encouraged students to be good neighbors during the Panda Game weekend.

UOttawa had previously planned a cleanup patrol in Sandy Hill on Sunday morning after the Panda Game.

A volunteer cleanup patrol will be deployed in the neighborhood at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Stanton-Kennedy, who summed up the mood of many Sandy Hill residents and said, “It was not a fun night.”

“The game itself is not the problem. It’s the atmosphere around the game that needs to change.”

Stanton-Kennedy says that after parties, the Panda Game was only a problem before 2016.

“Every subsequent year would get worse and worse.”

Higham says he does not want to see the Panda game canceled after this year’s events.

“I’m not sure what the best way to beat down the party is, but I think they should continue because it’s a good event, gathering people, building school spirit, but what happened last night is obviously not acceptable. “

University of Ottawa Gee-Gees beat Carleton Ravens 19-17 to win 52nd Panda Game at TD Place.

‘WE WERE INCREDIBLY DISAPPOINTED’: UOTTAWA SAYS

The University of Ottawa says it will fully support those responsible for the damage caused in Sandy Hill will be treated through the judicial institution.

“To all those who behaved ruthlessly and dangerously last night: You should know that your actions were shameful and unacceptable,” said a statement from Ottawa President and Vice Chancellor Jacques Fremont and Jill Scott, Prevost and Vice President, Academic Affairs.

“We expect all students – ours and others from other institutions – to adhere to the values ​​of courtesy and respect. We also expect you to respect public health guidelines. If you were part of the crowd responsible for the harm and disrespect in last night, you have to do better. “

The statement said the university was “hugely disappointed” to be teaching some students together to “celebrate loud and irresponsible” on the streets of Sandy Hill.

“To the residents of Sandy Hill, we deeply regret the damage that has been done, as well as the fear and anxiety that these events caused you last night,” Fremont and Scott wrote in a statement released just after 2 p.m. Sunday.

“Sandy Hill is our home, and you – its residents – are our valued neighbors. The actions of those who then have disrespect for our community are deeply troubling to us, just as they are to our community as a whole.”

With files from The Canadian Press

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