Two officers injured, 14 arrested during annual Hoboken SantaCon
HOBOKEN — The annual Hoboken SantaCon was held on Saturday and while police were kept busy throughout the day there were no reports of any large issues in the city.
Chief Ken Ferrante once again provided updates of the events of the day, which included four of his officers being injured and more than a dozen people ending up in police custody. The annual event, a chance for revelers to enjoy a bar crawl while dressed as Santa, has drawn negative attention to the city in recent years, but officials like Ferrante have worked to keep control as best as possible.
It was not even noon on Saturday before police reported two people urinating in public, including one person right behind police headquarters. The 14 people arrested this year also marked a slight decrease from the 17 of a year ago, and fewer bars were reportedly taking part in the festivities.
Mayor Ravi Bhalla said on his Twitter account that just 10 bars were official participants in the event this year, a drop from 30 bars around the city last year. In his Tweet Bhalla encouraged people to support the bars and restaurants not taking part in the event to show support for them.
SantaCon started at 10 a.m., and within a few hours of the formal start Ferrante Tweeted that members of the city's fire and police departments had reported to an address listed as the Madd Hatter for over crowding. The chief reported the first arrest a little after 1 p.m. after officer found an "over-intoxicated male," who "turned his anger towards officers" after being denied service at Biggie's on Newark Street.
That was not the last time someone tried to hit an officer. Ferrante reported at 6:20 that two people were arrested on charges of aggravated assault on police officers. One of the officers suffered a dislocated thumb, while another was punched in the face, Ferrante said.
On Sunday Ferrante said the officer who suffered the dislocated thumb saw the person who caused the injury after returning to work later that night. The chief said the officer was "taunted after arrestee was released as per criminal justice reform, entered Texas Arizona to drink more.
By 3 p.m on Saturday there had only been two arrests and eight citations given for violations of city ordinances, according to Ferrante. Even as his officers were working on crowd control, Ferrante said they had other business to attend to as well. The chief said police responded to at least one report of a burglary "thinking PD is concerned w/ other issues."
As the day went on Ferrante reported injuries to his officers and an uptick in arrests by his officers. Most of the arrests he reported were for disorderly conduct, while there were also reports of at least one person being arrested for possession of marijuana, Ferrante said. There was also an arrest for a sexual offense, though Ferrante did not provide any details on the incident that led too that charge.
Just before 6:30, Ferrante reported that police activity had "picked up rapidly," and that he was addinng "DWI Roving Patrols." Not long after he reported two more police officers required medical attention after a brawl at Johnny Rocket's.
"That's 4 officers needing medical aid, & some wonder why I condemn this day!," Ferrante said in a Tweet. "No other day like it entire yr in @City of Hoboken. Those that cause it need to be pay the consequences."
Thankfully, later in the night Ferrante reported that all of the officers who were being treated for injuries were able to return to after their treatment.
On Sunday morning Ferrante reported that between noon on Saturday and 4 a.m. on Sunday his officers repsponded to 429 calls for service, a sharp increase from 282 last year. There were also 33 ordinance summonses, which was a drop from 52 last year. Police issued tickets for 46 moving violations, which was up from 32 last year.
Saturday may have been busy, but Ferrante credited his officers for getting right back to work on Sunday.
"For the officers of the @HobokenPD working today, thank you for following up our busiest day of the year, and for those who are off, enjoy the day off, get some rest, and I know you will be back protecting the residents of @CityofHoboken tomorrow!."
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