Forty-one people were arrested this weekend as the Ithaca Police cracked down on Collegetown parties during the start of Orientation Week.
The arrests mostly occurred between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of College Avenue.
Twenty individuals received appearance tickets for possession of an open container of an alcoholic beverage Friday night, and another 16 tickets were issued for the same offense Saturday night. The penalty for a possession of an open container — with no prior convictions — ranges from a fine of $100 or 25 hours of community service to $250 and 15 days in jail.
The police ticketed eight people on Friday and 10 on Saturday for underage possession of alcohol with intent to consume, which bears a penalty of up to $150 and 15 days in jail for a first offense.
Other ticketed offenses during the weekend included two incidences of public urination; one incident of unlawful possession of marijuana; one incident of criminal possession of a forged instrument, third degree; and a noise ordinance violation.
Cornell officials likened the heightened police presence to other events in Collegetown with big turn-outs, such as Senior Week. According to Hank Dullea, vice president for University relations, Cornell organizations and the Ithaca Police Department gave students “a fair warning that the law will be enforced,” before the festivities last spring. “So I guess they were doing that this weekend,” he added.
“They’ll often put out more police when there are big crowds,” said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of Cornell News Service.
Dullea said the University has not been involved in the weekend arrests.
Earlier this month, Cornell University Police did, however, conduct an investigation into an apparent prank in Fall Creek gorge, according to a Cornell news release.
On Aug. 9, at 8:41 p.m., Cornell police received a call saying a “body” had been sighted below the campus Suspension Bridge. The police responded, along with the Ithaca Fire Department, Ithaca Police and Cornell Environmental Health And Safety department. They used floodlights and binoculars to determine that clothing laid out in the gorge did not contain a body, the report said. The next day fire department personnel determined that the clothing had been intentionally arranged to look like a body.
The investigation is still open. The penalty for the offenders will depend on the circumstances, Grace-Kobas said.
“People who aren’t from around here might not realize that we’ve had some terrible incidences and that we take anything that happens in the gorge very seriously,” Grace-Kobas said.
In the past year, the bodies of two students, a Cornell employee and an Ithaca resident were discovered in the gorge.
Anyone with information about the Fall Creek gorge incident should call Cornell police at 255-1111.
Archived article by Heather Schroeder