A tradition as old as the pier itself, hundreds of young people flocked to Breakwater Park and Gord Downie Pier over this past weekend, resulting in a large police presence across two nights and the arrest of a minor.
While the partying on the pier saw hundreds of people at the edge of Lake Ontario on the nights of both Friday, Sept. 16, and Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, the rowdiness led to response from Kingston Police involving a brief foot pursuit and the tackling of a suspect by an officer as the weekend was just beginning.
At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Friday, police responded to a noise complaint at Breakwater Park. While this was the first noise complaint at the park itself that night, it was one of 17 noise complaints in the area around the park and in the University District that night, three of which were directly at Gord Downie Pier.
Witnesses at the park on Friday night said there were over 300 people in the park over a few hours, with streams of young people coming and going from the gathering throughout. Kingstonist reached out to Kingston Police for comment on an incident that occurred as a result that saw one of those joining in the revelry taken to the ground by an officer.
“Upon arrival police observed numerous individuals who began to leave the area,” Const. Ash Gutheinz, Media Relations Officer for Kingston Police confirmed on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. Photos and video footage taken at Breakwater Park the night of Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, show large groups of young people moving around, some attempting to leave quickly as police turned on their lights and sirens to clear the area, while others ignored the police presence or even chased police vehicles.
But the decisions of one enthusiastically-thirsty individual led to an incident that saw the area clear out quickly. After police arrive, that person, who is under the age of 19, proceeded to drink two alcoholic beverages “in quick succession,” Gutheinz detailed. And the underage drinker chose to do so directly in front of Kingston Police officers observing the events from their cruiser.
“Police exited the cruiser in an attempt to stop this individual so they could issue a fine for having alcohol in a public place,” Gutheinz relayed.
However, the person in question then attempted to flee from police, resulting in a brief foot pursuit that saw the individual tackled to the ground and subsequently arrested. The teen was then taken to Kingston Police Headquarters for further processing.
As a result, the young unsanctioned-party-goer has been charged with:
- Having liquor in an open container in an unauthorized place
- Possession of alcohol while under the age of 19
- Being intoxicated in a public place
All three charges were laid due to Liquor Licence Act violations, Gutheinz noted.
And while Kingston Police attended Breakwater Park and Gord Downie Pier on the night of Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, due to noise complaints, as well, however gatherings that night didn’t swell in numbers to the same extent, and no charges were laid.