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Archive for Monday, October 30, 2006

Arrests are down at Halloween party

October 30, 2006

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— The crowd was a lot smaller, but so were the problems, at an annual Halloween party in Madison that ended without violence or the use of pepper spray as it had in recent years.

Police recorded fewer arrests among the estimated 35,000 costumed revelers, less than half the 80,000 at the party last year.

The total number arrested from Friday night through 2 a.m. Sunday was 230, compared with 566 in 2005. One person was arrested for felony assault of a police officer. Another officer broke a wrist in a fall while pursuing a suspect.

Overall, though, the crowd was well-behaved and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and Police Chief Noble Wray called Saturday night a success.

"We met all three of my goals for this year," Cieslewicz said. "We did not have to use pepper spray or have our police in riot gear. We reduced the amount of overconsumption of alcohol. And we recovered a significant part of the costs."

This year marked major changes in the event. In an attempt to avoid mayhem, city officials charged $5 admission, blocked off the street, hired bands to play on two stages and imposed time limits - the festivities ended at 1:30 a.m. Sunday.

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