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Early police interventions, cold weather tame Fauxcoming crowds

Early police interventions, and temperatures just slightly above the freezing mark, tamed “Fauxcoming” crowds in the University District on Saturday, October 23, 2021.

While crowds were more subdued than the previous weekend, the day was not without incident. At least one police officer suffered injuries while apprehending an unruly reveller.

Mounted police preparing to clear Aberdeen St. Photo by Cris Vilela.

According to Kingston Police, the injured officer was taken to Kingston General Hospital for treatment. He has since been released.

The City of Kingston declared several large gatherings to be Aggravated Nuisance Parties over the course of the afternoon, including on Aberdeen Street at around 2:30 p.m. and on Earl Street shortly thereafter.

Police were forced to temporarily close Division Street, University Avenue, and Johnson Street to vehicular traffic at times as pedestrians blocked roadways.

At least one house on Aberdeen Street was declared an Aggravated Nuisance Party, after one of its occupants was allegedly seen throwing a glass bottle at a Toronto Police officer.

Enforcement in the University District included the use of drones to periodically surveil the area. Photo by Logan Cadue.

Key to the more subdued crowds were much earlier interventions from police, including the clearing of roadways by mounted police officers as well as officers from Toronto Police’s Public Order Unit, who dispersed gatherings as they reached a size about one-quarter of those seen at Homecoming weekend the previous week.

Temperatures between 3°C and 5°C also acted as a deterrent, as several would-be partiers could be heard saying it was “too cold” while heading inside for smaller get-togethers.

Police clearing Earl St after it was declared an Aggravated Nuisance Party. Photo by Cris Vilela.

One final large gathering occurred at Victoria Park, but was quickly also declared an Aggravated Nuisance Party by the City of Kingston at around 11:30 p.m. and cleared by police officers in short order. Brock Street was closed to traffic at University Avenue for about half an hour to ensure pedestrian safety as the gathering dispersed.

The City of Kingston said that while this past weekend showed a small decrease in disruptive behaviour, Bylaw Enforcement issued 64 Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs), totaling $68,700 in fines, and Kingston police issued 83 provincial offences fines and 57 AMPs. Fourteen individuals were arrested.  

Kingston-based first responders were assisted throughout the weekend by hundreds of responders from OPP, Belleville Police, Toronto Police, York Regional Police, Toronto Paramedics and Vaughan Fire & Rescue, among others.

Photo by Cris Vilela.

The overall cost of enforcement over the day is not yet known, but is expected to be substantially more than the $350,000 that Queen’s University donated to the City of Kingston to offset policing costs in the University District.

Crews from several Eastern Ontario municipalities staging in preparation for “Fauxcoming” weekend. Photo by Daniel Tastard-Homer.

With files from Lucas Mulder, Logan Cadue, Daniel Tastard-Homer and Cody Stafford-Arenburg.

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