A shovel for IUPatty’s crowd control

An unidentified South Fifth Street resident uses a shovel to shoo IUPatty’s celebrants from property near South Fifth Street and Grandview Avenue in Indiana, Pa., on Saturday, March 21, at 3:43 p.m. Photo by Casey Kelly.

An unidentified South Fifth Street resident uses a shovel to shoo IUPatty’s celebrants from property near South Fifth Street and Grandview Avenue in Indiana, Pa., on Saturday, March 21, at 3:43 p.m. Photo by Casey Kelly.

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.

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2 Responses to A shovel for IUPatty’s crowd control

  1. Maxi says:

    As a student of iup, I completely agree with everything said in this article. Hopefully the incoming freshman will be better and more respectful, or I hope people change their ways for next year.

  2. John mills says:

    This unidentified man is a distinguished member of the faculty with a spouse and young children in the home. I am so sorry that the mounted officer found any amusement at all. I appreciate that you gave some attention to the impact of this event on residents. It is also interesting to note how many houses in the south fifth and sixth street areas are for sale. It is not a coincidence.

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