By Casey Kelly
INDIANA – At ground zero of IUPatty’s celebrations on Saturday afternoon, an annoyed resident appeared amid revelers near Grandview Avenue and South Fifth Street. He wielded a shovel and ordered green-T-shirt-clad partiers off his property.
The unidentified resident emerged from his home in the 700 block of South Fifth at 3:40 p.m. as a crowd reported to number up to 700 overflowed into his yard. As cameras video-recorded the incident, the man shoveled beer cans and liquor bottles from his yard.
The man also used the tool to shoo away the crowd, including one young man whose backpack was struck by the implement.
The crowd began chanting, “A—hole!” The man marched up a hill to a nearby Pennsylvania State Police SUV and spoke with officers who were among about 20 police in cars and on horseback in the neighborhood for much of the afternoon.
IUP sophomore hospitality management major Lauren Kromer shot video of the shovel incident.
One mounted officer described the scene as “slightly amusing.”
On Monday, campus officials claimed credit for crowd control that avoided a re-run of violent March 8, 2014, IUPatty’s street scenes posted on social media and published in regional news media and beyond. Officials also praised student cleanup crews that swept through neighborhoods on Sunday.
But longtime borough resident Lee Vest posted a message on social media on Saturday afternoon, saying she “can’t wait until IUPatty’s celebration is finished.” On Tuesday, she expressed both pride in IUP students’ academics and solidarity with her annoyed shovel-wielding Fifth Street neighbor and his reaction to crowds of young revelers.
“It is frustrating to see what happens during IUPatty’s and IUP Homecoming weekends,” said Vest, a 30-year-plus resident of the borough. “Crowds littering, throwing up and urinating on our town. I believe that partygoers should be respectful and treat our town as if it’s their town.”
Casey Kelly, a junior journalism major at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, is from Glen Rock.