Large crowds, multiple injuries during ‘Faux-coming’ weekend
Thousands of partiers kept first responders scrambling during the first of two consecutive weekends that are expected to draw large crowds to the University District near Queen’s University.
On this weekend, known colloquially as “Faux Homecoming”, “Faux-Co”, or “FoCo”, Kingston Police, Frontenac Paramedics, Kingston Fire & Rescue dealt with multiple “Nuisance Parties”, at least one reveller injured after falling off of a rooftop, and a pedestrian who suffered serious, life-threatening injuries after being struck by a vehicle.
In preparation for the massive crowds, Kingston Police requested and received the assistance of several police forces and paramedic services from other municipalities, including Toronto Police, Durham Police, Brockville Police, Belleville Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Toronto Paramedics, Ottawa Paramedics, and Ottawa Fire.
While the partying had already begun early on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 22, the first officially declared Nuisance Party occurred shortly before noon on Earl Street between Albert Street and Collingwood Street, with attendees being ordered by police to disperse, or be liable for an Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) under the City of Kingston’s Nuisance Party by-law.
Throughout the afternoon, Kingston Police said they observed several individuals climbing trees and accessing roof-tops in the University District as they patrolled the area. Police continued to urge partiers to “refrain from engaging in this behavior and to prioritize their wellbeing by keeping both feet on the ground.”
At around 2:30 p.m., one such partier fell approximately eight feet from the roof-top of a residence in the area of Johnson Street and University Avenue. Police again pleaded with partiers to stay off rooftops.
Nuisance parties continued on Aberdeen Street throughout the afternoon. Responding officers said they observed several instances of flying projectiles, with some being thrown directly at police. These large gatherings hampered paramedic response at around 4:30 p.m. to one individual who required medical attention and a trip to Kingston General Hospital (KGH) after a serious injury.
By 6 p.m., Kingston Police and other policing partners had been successful in clearing the Aberdeen Street mass gathering, laying several charges and making multiple arrests during that time.
Shortly after 8:00 p.m., Frontenac Paramedics, Kingston Police, and Kingston Fire & Rescue were dispatched to the area of Brock Street near Alfred Street after a male in his 20s was hit by a truck hauling a large catering trailer. The pedestrian was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
At around 10:30 p.m., Kingston Police declared a Nuisance Party on Brock Street between Division Street and Barrie Street. That large gathering was successfully dispersed about 45 minutes later.
Then, shortly after midnight on Couper Street, approximately 500 people had gathered, with one partier calling out to the crowd for volunteers to start flipping cars. While his incitements went unheeded, a short distance away other partiers set out to remove traffic signage from its location. After a collective effort, party-goers removed a no-parking sign from the ground and began waving it around triumphantly. With the inebriated crowd continuing to grow, Kingston Police arrived on scene of the quickly deteriorating situation about five minutes thereafter, and the party dispersed quickly after their arrival without further incident.
The revelries continued into the wee hours of Sunday morning. In all, said Kingston Police, they laid five Nuisance Party fines, each carrying a $2000 penalty. Kingston Police have not yet provided exact figures on the number of arrests or other fines laid in the University District throughout the day.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
3 thoughts on “Large crowds, multiple injuries during ‘Faux-coming’ weekend”
No concerns that these were potential super-spreader events for the further spread of Covid in Kingston? Last year, from November 24 to 28, Queen’s hosted university rugby championships, which resulted in the spread of the Omicron variant on campuses from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. This year, (while the seventh wave has been growing since July), Queen’s, City Council, and KFL&A Public Health have scrapped most precautionary measures to slow the spread of this pandemic, and only recommend vaccinations, (which is not an option for many people). Pranksters at these events deliberately walking against red lights at intersections or jumping in front of oncoming traffic demonstrates a disrespect for their own safety and others. Are the authorities at Queen’s, City Council, and at Public Health, again going to express their sad disappointment in Homecoming nonsense, (as done year after year), and do nothing more? In the midst of a pandemic and over-burdened emergency rooms, this abdication of responsibility for community safety by these authorities also needs to be resolved, (and not dismissed with the police and bylaw enforcement issuing a handful of “nuisance party” fines and tickets for minor infractions). Expect more Covid outbreaks and deaths, due to their negligence.
Well stated. Mass arrests, heavy fines and Queen’s disciplinary actions are needed to deter these violators of common decency.
I agree. Lives are at stake both from accidents and Covid. Every life lost, every serious injury affects many other people and the community as a whole. In these difficult times, to witness such disregard, such disrespect for others is demoralizing.