SWAT officers hit with bricks while breaking up 800-person party, Colorado cops say


A raucous - and largely maskless - 800-person party in Colorado left SWAT officers injured and several vehicles damaged overnight Saturday, police say.

The party had been going for hours in Boulder's University Hill neighborhood near the University of Colorado Boulder when police responded to the scene, the Daily Camera reported. Police estimate there were roughly 800 people in the area at one point during the evening.

Three SWAT officers were pelted with bricks and rocks and an armored rescue vehicle and fire truck sustained heavy damage, police said, according to KUSA.

Party-goers are also accused of setting off fireworks and flipping a car, the Daily Camera reported.

CU issued an alert to students around 8 p.m. warning them to avoid University Hill, adding that "those in the area could be subject to arrest and CU sanctions."

Roughly half-an-hour later, officials on the scene warned party-goers that they needed to leave or face "tear gas," "use of force," or arrest, according to the Daily Camera. The crowd had mostly dispersed by 9 p.m.

In a later alert to students, CU called the party "unacceptable and irresponsible, particularly in light of the volume of training, communication and enforcement the campus and city have dedicated to ensuring compliance with COVID-19 public health orders."

The university said it's been clear that following health orders is part of the school's code of conduct and that it's already suspended 45 students this year for health code violations.

"We will continue to take these actions to make clear that protecting our community and our campus is of utmost importance and that we will not tolerate such violations," the school said.

It added that any student who "engaged in acts of violence toward the law enforcement or other first responders" would be removed from the university and not readmitted.

Boulder police said the department is reviewing body camera footage as well as photos and video posted to social media to identify those who'd damaged property and attacked first responders.

"Detectives will review every lead we have to identify and arrest those responsible for this reprehensible and unacceptable behavior," Chief Maris Herold said.

Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said he was working with police to identify those involved.

"Their callous disregard for our community's safety and well-being is shameful," Dougherty said, according to the Denver Post. "There is no excuse for this conduct, especially while the people of this community endure the pandemic."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Boulder Police Department through social media or on its website.

The party happened the day after Gov. Jared Polis extended Colorado's statewide mask mandate. It's been in place since July, CNN reported.

Colorado has logged more than 435,000 cases of COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic and nearly 6,000 deaths, according to data from the state Department of Public Health and Environment. Nearly 565,000 people have been fully vaccinated.


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