“I’m Shmacked” investigation continues, 25 arrests made
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 22:10
Though the “I’m Shmacked” incident on campus took place longer than a month ago, students are still facing the ramifications of the Sept. 9 events with the Newark Police Department seeking to identify 44 more suspects.
“We are still pursuing arrests because the individuals involved broke the law,” said Lt. Mark Farrall, Newark police spokesperson.
Patrick Ogden, chief of the university’s police, said university police assisted the NPD with breaking up the initial party and then clearing the large crowds of students blocking traffic on South College Avenue.
Because of the incident, over 75 police officers from throughout New Castle County, including every officer with the Newark and university police units, had to be called to disperse the crowd, Farrall said.
“What that means is that while we were clearing this disorderly crowd, there were no available officers to handle any other emergency situations that may have occurred in the Newark,” Farrall said. “While many students think that this incident was all in good fun, they fail to realize the public safety problems that such disorderly behavior presents.”
Farrall said video evidence used to identify students was obtained from a variety of sources, mainly from participants or bystanders to this incident.
Most recently, three students were charged on Oct. 8 for disorderly conduct and pedestrian walking along roadway when sidewalks are provided.
The university is cooperating with the Newark Police Department, to the extent of having the Office of Communications and Marketing post pictures of students released by NPD on UDaily in an effort to identify those students involved, Ogden said. Farrall said he encourages any student depicted in the photos to turn themselves in to save themselves the inconvenience and embarrassment of having the police come find them.
“What is important for students to realize is that it is nearly impossible for incidents of this magnitude to not be caught on some sort of video or social media,” Farrall said.
Farrall said the investigation will continue until the departments have exhausted the ability to identify any further subjects involved. He said so far 25 arrests have been made.
All students arrested by NPD for involvement in the incident will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct by UDPD, where they will be subject to university sanctions, Ogden said. The university police department will defer to the Office of Student Conduct for these disciplinary measures, Farrall said, with the punishments varying on the individual student charges.
Junior Calvin Cooper said students who caused damage to property should face consequences, but students who were simply there should not be punished.
“Students have to know that when they partake in these kinds of events, there is risk involved,” Cooper said. “The police are just doing their job.”
Ogden said the police want everyone to understand that the fallout surrounding the incident is not about students having a good time at a party but rather about poor choices, dangerous behavior, being good neighbors and keeping the university and Newark community safe, Ogden said.
“We, the UD Police, will continue our ongoing community outreach efforts and reinforce the message delivered by President Harker and Provost Grasso that this type of behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” Ogden said.