Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Devils Night antics hit local business, residents

November 1, 2000

Tuesday morning, Adam Eisele and his roommates awoke to find a dead squirrel cooking in the small propane grill they keep on the front porch of their Evergreen Avenue home.

One of the four cars in their driveway had also been toilet papered.

The engineering junior, his roommates and neighbors were a small sect of people who experienced Devil’s Night in East Lansing firsthand this year.

“It wasn’t really a big deal,” he said. “At first we thought someone was pissed at us, but then we saw our neighbors had been hit too. We haven’t had anything else like that happen to us so I’m sure it was just for Devil’s Night.

“We all just thought it was kinda funny.”

Eisele said his neighbors got it a lot worse - one of the houses was egged, and two houses across the street had their cars covered in ketchup and mustard.

None of the four homes reported the incident to East Lansing police.

Only two property destruction calls were made during between 9 p.m. Monday and 7 a.m. Tuesday, East Lansing police Lt. Kevin Daley said. Starbucks Coffee, 401 E. Grand River Ave., was spray painted and a residence was toilet papered.

The pseudo-holiday is not usually a problem in the city of East Lansing, especially when it falls on a nonparty night or week night, Daley said. Since Devil’s Night fell on a Monday this year, there were few problems.

“There have been some instances in the past but not this year,” he said. “It’s not like St. Patrick’s Day where everyone seems to turn Irish for a day and gets the night off.

“That’s when a lot of real destruction takes place.”

Daley credits the lack of participation to students busy working on schoolwork and not having enough free time to plan destruction or carry it out.

MSU police Detective Tony Willis reported similar slow crime patterns Monday night.

“We didn’t have any reported damage,” he said. “It was pretty quiet around here; it usually is. We’ve never really had a problem on Devil’s Night, it’s just the same old, same old.”

Lansing police Lt. Ray Hall said Lansing residents traditionally do not participate in Devil’s Night festivities either.

“Devil’s Night hasn’t been a bad night for the city of Lansing, so we don’t even really increase patrols in the area very much,” he said. “We usually just all watch the TV to see what happened in Detroit this year and watch parts of the city burn.”

But if the past few years are any indication, even the problems in Detroit will be minimal.

In 1994, 354 fires burned in Detroit, and last year there were 123. Numbers for this year have not been released, but seemed to be on track with 1999 numbers, said city spokesman S.R. Boland.

In an effort to curb arsons, 30,000 Detroit residents have been patrolling their neighborhoods as part of Angel’s Night, a citywide opposition to Devil’s Night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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