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Police blanket Hudson in search of partiers

March 17, 2011

By Matt Bliss, Blaise Bryant, Adam Clark, Annie Delano, Siera Henriquez, Kayla Matteo, Charles Karam, Dana Lenseth, Nathaniel Meyers, Joshua Natoli, Kelly Pfeister, Valeriya Ponomarova, Chris Surprenant, Emily Trapp, Hannah Vair, Kyle Wilson and Derek Wright

Hudson Avenue and its surrounding neighborhood was blanketed with a heavy police presence throughout Thursday morning, Saint Patrick’s Day, five days after a riot ensued in the primarily college section of town.

Officers stopped traffic and circulated three-page color-collated documents showing 28 thumbnail facial images of individuals who were photographed at the Hudson Avenue riot Saturday morning. One individual had turned himself in by Thursday morning, but the search for the remaining men was in full throttle when The Pine Hills blog took to the streets.

Officers patrolled on mounts, located a ‘paddy wagon’ on Quail Street just north of Hudson and erected a  billboard traffic

Albany mounted police patrol the Pine Hills Thursday

sign at Western and O’Leary Boulevard today.

At Ontario Street near Brubacher Hall, the street was littered with lighter fluid, a bottle of  Tanqueray Imported Dry Gin, and a bottle of New Castle Brown Ale.

The Department of General Services was conducting major street and sidewalk cleaning, and notifying homeowners and landlords of garbage violations, according to Tom Kelley, chief labor supervisor for the Department of General Service. He was on Hudson Avenue supervising and assisting. Property owners received 24-hour notification before the city intended to start fining a minimum of $175 per violation at houses in the neighborhood.

Albany Police Department stop on going traffic through the Pine Hills neighborhood looking to identify suspects.

“This caught a lot of attention, I would be very surprised if this was to happen next year,” Kelley said.

At the Pine Hills Market, which shut down for several hours Saturday as a direct result of the rioting, a door sign promoted a neighborhood cleanup slated for this coming  Saturday. It read: “Clean Up After Yourselves!,” and “Neighborhood Clean’ UP, March 18th, 12:30 p.m. starting at Washington and Quail, bags and gloves will be provided.”

On riot day, Greg McShea, a UAlbany student, said he was at a friend’s house when someone in the house next door threw a television from the balcony.

“I hope people who weren’t causing trouble did not get arrested,” McShea said. He said his friend’s girlfriend got hit in the head with a bottle that was thrown out of a house that day and although they did not contact the police they did bring the girl to the hospital for treatment. He was concerned that the bad behavior by a few individuals would ruin it for everyone else.

Sophomore Herbie Castro, of UAlbany, was asleep when the riot broke out.

“Personally, I think it was a bit ridiculous, people went a little bit too far,” Castro said. “I’m glad I wasn’t a part of it.”

Castsro said he thinks students should be suspended, but not expelled, and that they should be held responsible for their actions.

Another Univerity at Albany student, Dave Spataro, said “There was no point. It’s one thing to destroy your own property, but to destroy others’ , it’s wrong.”

At the Sunspot Cafe, worker Lis George said customers were drinking alcohol in the cafe Saturday. “I had to kick them

Albany Police Department go door-to-door looking for safety code and trash violations

out,” she said.

Her co-worker Alex Burger, 20, said, “it was really sad.”

During the fracas, riot participants had turned parked cars perpendicular to the streets to keep the police out, said Ptl. Eugene O’Brien, of the neighborhood engagement unit.

On the corner of Hudson and Partridge, Fredrick Whitney, the assistant director of safety and security, said that Saint Rose security had monitored Saturday’s events carefully as they unfolded.

After scouring more than 20 hours of video and photos Whitney said the college found “nothing indicating that Saint Rose students were involved.” The campus, with some 90 buildings in the neighborhood, remained debris and vandalism free during the riot, he said. -30-

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