Thursday, June 30, 2022

Where in East Lansing did St. Patrick's Day crime occur? We mapped it out to see

March 23, 2022
<p>An East Lansing police car sits outside of a fraternity house as students celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in East Lansing. Shot on March 17, 2022.</p>

An East Lansing police car sits outside of a fraternity house as students celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in East Lansing. Shot on March 17, 2022.

Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

St. Patrick's Day is one of the most notorious holidays of the year for Michigan State University, as with many schools on the eastern half of the United States. Students are often seen skipping class and lining the streets early in the morning, dressed in their wardrobes that are conveniently already green.

However, the holiday also brings numerous citations, tickets and arrests every year due to the oftentimes alcohol-laced debauchery that unfolds on the streets of East Lansing over the holiday itself and following weekend.

St. Patrick's Day 2022 was no exception, with calls for service through Thursday, March 17 to Sunday, March 20 equalling 665 calls, including to East Lansing Fire Department and four local police departments.

Many of these calls are routine, such as traffic stops and requests for school crossing assistance. Others, though, saw a considerable spike in correlation with the holiday weekend.

The State News has mapped and analyzed three major categories; substance-related calls, gathering-related calls and altercation-related calls, totaling to 75 calls covering 9 codes. Each marker on the following maps can be clicked on for more information.

Substance-Related Calls

There were 14 substance-related calls over St. Patrick's Day weekend — just above 2% of the total.

A vast majority of these were focused in downtown East Lansing, in the vicinity of bars. The exception to this trend were "Operating under the influence" calls, with two taking place at least a mile from the area.

Every call for liquor violations, including offenses such as having an open alcohol container in public areas, took place on St. Patrick's Day, and 80% took place before 8 a.m. Same for intoxicated subjects, with all three calls being made on the holiday.

Notably, the address of Lou and Harry's Bar and Grill, 211 E. Grand River Ave., saw two calls, two liquor violations, on St. Patrick's Day, at 07:46 a.m. and 02:14 p.m..

Gathering Related Calls

Gathering related calls, which include both noise and party complaints, made up the bulk of St. Patty's-related calls throughout the weekend.

East Lansing Police Department Chad Pride said that noise complaints are to be expected on the holiday, but he noticed more fellow students calling them this year, as compared to other East Lansing residents.

"We still received a ton of noise complaints as well," Pride said. "From not only residents but also students calling in our students as well."

Almost half of gathering related calls, or 45%, were clustered in the student-heavy neighborhoods tucked between Burcham Drive and Grand River Avenue.

Abbot Road was a hotspot as well, with the fraternity houses lining it garnering multiple each. Sigma Nu, located at 110 Oakhill Ave., received five on St. Patrick's Day, and Phi Kappa Sigma at 437 Abbot Rd. received two.

Other highlights included Cedar Village and the intersection of Bailey Street and Albert Street — both receiving three calls over the weekend.

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Altercation-Related Calls

Calls for altercation-related crimes over the holiday weekend included 11 fights, three assault complaints and one incident involving a weapon.

Like substance-related calls, a majority of these were focused downtown and heavily slanted towards the bars near the west end of Albert Street. Exceptions occurred, though, with four fights and one assault complaint being present in various residential areas in East Lansing.

Three fights occurred at 311 Grove Street, where a 7Eleven next door to Harper's Restaurant and Brewpub is located. All three were on St. Patrick's Day, either in the afternoon or in the early hours of Friday morning.

Over half of all fight and assault complaint calls occurred between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m., and nearly a quarter between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m..

Overall Analysis By Safety Officers

Pride said that this St. Patrick's Day weekend was noticeably calmer than previous years. He was surprised, as this year was the first time since 2019 that all students would be back on campus for the holiday.

"With it being almost 70 degrees out and sunny, and kind of one of the first St. Patrick's Day really back, that it was going to be really busy starting off," Pride said. "It really wasn't. Started out kind of like a normal day, but that afternoon it started to pick up a bit."

He also noted that students seemed to start partying later in the day than he had seen before. While in the past calls may start flooding in at 6:30 a.m., this year it didn't pick up until around 11 a.m.

He credits his department's community outreach as a primary factor for this change.

"We're being more proactive and actually getting out and talking to residents when you know before the party gets too big," Pride said. "Just to kind of make sure that they understand what we're seeing, and the possibility that people could be calling. Hopefully trying to head off the problem before it starts."

Editor's Note: This article was revised to emphasize that only two calls were made to the address of Lou and Harry's Bar and Grill, at 211 E Grand River Ave.. A previous edition included a third call that was made to a neighboring address, at 201 E Grand River Ave..

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