Over 40 people were injured and around 100 people were arrested when violence erupted at the Deltopia 2014 gathering and unruly behavior turned into a riot at an unapproved party in Isla Vista. Officials believe over 15,000 people were present at the yearly party on Saturday. Some attendees described Deltopia 2014 as a glorified drinking party. The gathering draws crowds by the thousands every year. Those who attend are mostly college students from UC Santa Barbara and other near-by colleges.
Police officers were already on hand before the riot broke out to monitor the event and ended up arresting 56 people and issuing 49 citations. The situation intensified around 8 p.m. when sheriff’s deputies were called after reports of stabbings at the event.Shortly after the sheriffs responded the crowd became unruly. Members of the crowd began attacking law enforcement. One police officer was smash in the head with a bag filled with of liquor bottles. It is believed that this incident at the Deltopia 2014 gathering in Isla Vista turned into an all-out brawl with law enforcement that eventually the led to a riot.
Two sheriff’s deputies also sustained injuries when one was cut by a bottle, and another was hit in the head with a brick. During the chaos partygoers began destroying traffic signs, lighting things on fire and breaking windows out of cars. Some of members of the crowd of 15,000 began to throw bricks, rocks, and bottles at officers. Their cars were also attacked.Five additional officers were hurt in the brawl, including one officer who was hit in the face with a brick and two others who were both hit on their hands with bottles. All officers have since been released from the hospital.
Law enforcement officers were forced to use pepper spray, tear gas, and rubber bullets in an attempt to control the anarchy. The rioting continued through one a.m. It was then after further law enforcement from Ventura County arrived that law enforcement was finally able to break up the crowd.One Deltopia-goer posted a photo of their smashed windshield from the inside of their car captioned “the drive home
Santa Barbara spokeswoman Kelly Hoover was quoted saying “It was an emergency situation where we had to call in mutual aid. They have had civil disturbances before in Isla Vista, but it has been many years since something like this.”
Hoover is reefing to the riots of 1970 where students protested and rioted for months in opposition to student arrests, war, discrimination and the murder of Kevin Moran. He was trying to assist in putting out fires started by radicals in a bank when police opened fire on him and then claimed that he was gunned down by a radical sniper. The police even went so far as to put out an all-points-bulletin on the fake suspects and made up a description for the imaginary gunman’s getaway car. There were three riots in Isla Vista that years.
Besides those that were treated for injuries sustained during the gathering turned riot in Isla Vista, almost all others hospitalized on Saturday had consumed dangerous amounts of alcohol at Deltopia 2014. Authorities remained in Isla Vista through Sunday morning cleaning up the glass and trash left behind at the scene of the riot.
By Sarah Wright