UPDATE: WVU releases statement after Morgantown Police Department disperses large crowd in Sunnyside neighborhood

Monongalia

UPDATE (3/13/20 2:15 p.m.):

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University has released a statement on Thursday’s incident in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Morgantown.

“It is unfortunate that some students’ behavior turned into a dangerous and threatening situation for law enforcement officers and others. This is not acceptable. We remind our students that their actions should always represent our Mountaineer values. However, this is especially true during the current novel coronavirus outbreak. It is essential that our University and other community resources be available to respond to the rapidly changing challenges of this health crisis. Those students found to have been involved are subject not only to criminal charges, but also sanctions under WVU’s Student Conduct Code.”

Statement from West Virginia University

WVU has also confirmed that the following people are current students: Buhrow, McHugh, Hogan, Goshen, Pierce, Love and Calior.

The spellings above were given to WBOY by WVU, and some of them differ from the spellings given to WBOY by the Morgantown Police Department.


ORIGINAL STORY:

A total of nine people have been charged so far after the Morgantown Police Department responded to a large party that completely shut down Beverly Avenue between 4th and 6th Streets, according to a press release.

The release stated that officers began receiving calls about the party at approximately 5:46 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. Officers arrived on scene and saw a very large crowd that was blocking the street, congregating on rooftops, drinking alcohol and creating a very large disturbance in the neighborhood, according to the release.

The release stated that officers tried to go door to door to the houses and direct the people inside or away from the area. However, officers said that while speaking to several people, some people began throwing beer bottles, beer cans and other debris at the officers. The release stated that officers then retreated from the area and notified other law enforcement agencies of the situation.

Police said that officers tried to disperse the crowd using a Public Address System (loudspearker), but were confronted by a highly agitated and intoxicated crowd. Officers said the crowd continued to grow and throw objects at police officers. West Virginia University Police officers and other assisting agencies helped restrict access to the area, according to the release. Additionally, officers said EMS and Fire personnel were staged near to the area in case there were any injuries or fires as a result of the incident.

Police said that warnings were issued to the crowd that they were engaging in an unlawful assembly and that they need to leave the area. Following those warnings, officers deployed smoke grenades to the area as a means of dispersing the crowd, according to the release. Police said the smoke was ineffective at dispersing the crowd.

Police said that members of the crowd continued to refuse to disperse from the area and continued throwing objects at officers. The release stated that at approximately 6:52 p.m., officers deployed three rounds of tear gas into the crowd. Upon discharge of the tear gas, the crowd began to quickly disperse from the area.

The release stated that officers stayed in the area during the dispersal to make sure there were no injuries and to take enforcement action on any of the remaining subjects in the area that were engaging in criminal activity. Officers said the streets were clear and the situation had returned to normal by 8:45 p.m.

The release stated that the review of the activity and actions of this event is preliminary. Police said that over the next several days and weeks, staff will be reviewing the body camera video, surveillance video and reviewing reports of actions and activities during this event.

Police stated that as with all uses of force, this incident will be reviewed and for compliance with policy, training and compliance with all local, state and federal regulations. The release stated the Morgantown Police Department will be working with property owners, as well as staff of WVU following this incident.

The release stated that preliminary review shows that the following individuals are facing the following charges.

  • Connor Burow, 21, of Fairfax, Virginia was charged with a nuisance party and failure to maintain a litter-free premise. Burow was also charged following a second encounter with an officer for public intoxication.
  • Colin McHugh, 19, of Pilesgrove, New Jersey, was charged with disorderly conduct and underage consumption.
  • Joseph Boggs, 27, of Morgantown was charged with public intoxication.
  • Syndenee Wunts, 21, of Morgantown has been charged with a nuisance party.
  • Sarah Hogan, 21, of Woodbridge, Virginia, was charged with a nuisance party.
  • Jakob Goshen, 20, of Bloomsbury, New Jersey, was charged with obstruction, disorderly conduct, public intoxication and underage possession and consumption.
  • Cameron Pierce, 20, of Weirton, was charged with public intoxication, underage consumption and disorderly conduct.
  • Cole Cailor, 19, of Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, was charged with public intoxication, underage consumption and disorderly conduct and destruction of property.
  • Joshua Love, 21, of Fairfax, Virginia was charged with nuisance party and failure to maintain a litter-free premise.

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