Out-of-Control Partying in Towson Results in Shooting, Pepper Spray, Police Dogs

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Sheesh. We thought the biggest issue at Towson University’s homecoming this weekend was going to be that stupid Third Eye Blind concert; instead, the post-game celebration resulted in riotous partying that took over York Road and ended with one young man shot multiple times, and at least six people arrested.

The nexus of the party/disaster was Towson’s Recher Theatre, which was hosting a fraternity event. When that reached capacity, the crowd spilled into the street, reaching an estimated 2,500 people and resulting in disorderly conduct and fighting, according to the Baltimore Sun. At 1 a.m., the man who was shot approached the police for help and was transported to the hospital, but it wasn’t until nearly 4 a.m. that the area was under control — and it took both pepper spray and canine units (!!) to quell the confrontational atmosphere.

“It was Armageddon,” Jamal Means, a Towson bartender, told the Sun.”There was no police presence when it was building up,” he continued. “They came when the catastrophe had already happened… The cops were literally running at [students] with dogs. You can’t do that with kids.”

As of this morning, the university had yet to respond to the incident — which, it should be noted, may have not involved any of the school’s students. “Thanks to all of the students for such a great turnout! Homecoming was #Legendary,” the school’s Twitter feed cheerfully reports. Maybe next year they’ll aim for a slightly less legendary turnout.

In the meantime, though, how should the university address the problem? The Sun quotes Towson business owners who allege that the trouble-makers weren’t necessarily Towson students (though how they would know this so confidently is a bit of a mystery). But even so, clearly they were drawn to the area because of the school. Does the university have a responsibility to manage the crowds it attracts? Is there a better answer than just “more police”? Who is the Towson equivalent of Johns Hopkins’ Shhh Lady?

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  1. “The cops were literally running at [students] with dogs. You can’t do that with kids.”

    When kids behave like that, you certainly can.

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