Fred Fest 2017: gunshots, garbage and a missing ‘F’: Party ends with gunshots on Sunday

JORDAN PATTERSON

News Editor

Last week, Fredonia Mayor Athanasia Landis described the village on the Sunday after Fred Fest as a “war zone.” Early Sunday morning this year, gunshots rang out on Center Street.

As expected, many people were arrested. The people getting arrested ranged from students to non-students to individuals not even from the area. The charges ranged from open containers and violating the sewer ordinance to stealing the “F” off of the Fredonia sign on Central Avenue.

The Fredonia Police Department was unable to comment on the shooting as of Monday morning.

President Virginia Horvath expressed her distaste and concern with the unofficial Fred Fest in the week leading up to the chaotic weekend. She even went as far as saying she cannot be proud of her students on this very weekend. Another concern she had was that the “outsiders” and non-students that come into Fredonia on this weekend commit crimes and then in return give Fredonia students a bad name. The shooting that took place will probably be the most talked about incident, but once again this was carried out by non-students and off-campus.

The Fredonia Police Department released an official press release on their Facebook page which read “The Fredonia Police Department is currently investigating a shooting that occurred at 80 Center Street in the Village of Fredonia on April 30, 2017 at approximately 4:00 AM.”

Further in the press release, the incident was described in greater detail. According to the Fredonia Police, officers responded to a call around 4 a.m. on Sunday where it was reported that a guest trying to leave the “gathering” at the same house attempted to enter her car.

“While the individual sat in the car, another guest fired 3 to 4 rounds at the car as she sat in the roadway,” according to the press release.

Landis and Horvath also expressed concern about the underage students consuming alcohol in mass quantities. The Fredonia Police Department blotters were plastered with underage possession of alcohol and open container tickets.

Other charges that frequently appeared in blotters were disorderly conduct and littering.

Although most of the crimes were being committed in the center of the village and away from campus, the college did catch some of the criminal overlap. Perhaps most notably, the “F” from the Fredonia sign on Central Avenue was removed from the base of the sign early Sunday morning. According to University Police Chief Ann Burns, the theft was caught on camera and they are confident that the ongoing investigation will lead to an arrest.

“It’s disappointing,” Burns said.

She also commented that the shooting that took place was “totally unrelated” to Fredonia students, and that she was willing to bet that the “vast majority of arrests aren’t our students.”

During the weekend’s festivities, Fredonia Police officers wore body cameras to document the events. While there were rumors that the footage would be posted on Facebook, in reality the footage will only be used in court if necessary. However, according to the Fredonia Police Department, the names and photos of individuals were scheduled to be posted on Tuesday.

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