DTN official reports minimal property damage; residents' cars, apartments damaged in melee
Cedar Fest, a party held Saturday, attracted between 3,000 and 4,000 people, East Lansing police said. Police deployed flash bangs, smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd after objects such as bottles and cans were thrown.
When clouds of tear gas cleared early Sunday morning, the aftermath of Cedar Fest came into focus.
Shards of glass covered the street. Crushed beer cans and plastic cups littered lawns. And for an unlucky few, windows and car windshields were shattered.
Despite being pelted with bottles and other objects, damage to Cedar Village area buildings was minimal, said Colin Cronin, area director of student properties at DTN Management Co.
A few lights and windows were smashed and fire extinguishers were sprayed into the crowd, said Cronin, who was “surprised” by the relatively small amount of damage.
“It wasn’t much worse than that,” he said.
He didn’t have an estimate on the amount of damage caused in the area where DTN manages seven apartment complexes.
With beer bottles bombarding police, DTN’s security officers made stops at apartments and ordered balconies cleared, Cronin said.
For Caitlin Brewster, a student at the Douglas J. Aveda Institute, 331 E. Grand River Ave., removing people from her balcony was difficult, especially when random partygoers began climbing to her balcony from the street.
“There were five people on my balcony I didn’t know,” Brewster said. “People just kept trying to climb up, and I was like, ‘Get down, I don’t even know you.’”
After the crowds began to clear, DTN’s 40 security employees began clearing the area of trash until 5:30 a.m. Street sweepers also rolled through the area, removing glass.
The employees’ efforts eased Shabana Lakdawala’s task of picking up trash around the area early Sunday afternoon for the Community Relations Coalition.
“There were a couple houses and a few apartments that had trash around them, but it wasn’t everywhere,” the sociology senior said. “I didn’t think it was worse than any other parties, like during Welcome Week. It was just louder.”
For property owners such as Ross Heath, who owns 11 properties in the area, the event brought back troubling memories.
Heath said he has spent $3,000 to $5,000 repairing damages such as broken windows and doors after past Cedar Fest gatherings.
“I think the Cedar Fest thing is disgusting,” he said. “I thought we were done with this thing in the 1980s.”
Damage, however, wasn’t only limited to buildings.
Hospitality business senior Erin Bledsoe’s car fell victim to a mob when a bottle smashed through her car windshield, which she had replaced two weeks earlier. She expects a new windshield to cost about $220.
“I just put my head down and had to walk away,” Bledsoe said. “I felt really upset, but it was something small compared with what else could have happened during the night.”