Local News

Chapel Hill Halloween Bash Draws 70,000; Several People Arrested

Posted November 1, 2006

— Chapel Hill police say a shooting occurred near the annual Halloween celebration on Franklin Street. Plus, authorities arrested several partygoers.

Police said there were 70,000 people partying Wednesday for the annual bash.

"All in all, considering the crowd size, it went well," said Chapel Hill Police Chief Gregg Jarvies.

By 2:25 a.m. Wednesday, clean-up was already under way. Franklin Street reopened to traffic shortly before 4 a.m.

Twenty-seven people were arrested or cited in the celebration. Orange County Emergency Medical Services responded to 40 calls and 18 people were transported to UNC Hospitals. Police said most of the calls dealt with people who were intoxicated.

There were 400 officers in all on Franklin Street, in cars, on foot, on motorcycle and on horseback. After minor incidents in years past with partygoers being cut and even robbed, Chapel Hill police officials decided to step up their presence.

"The use of light standards, the increased number of officers, and the motorcycle and mounted units all contributed to the success of the event. Most important, however, was the outstanding performance of the men and women who worked diligently to protect the safety of the event participants," Jarvies said. "I would also like to acknowledge the thousands of people who came downtown, enjoyed the event, and did their part to make sure that Halloween on Franklin Street was a safe event."

Authorities said there was one shooting on Merritt Mill Road, blocks away from the street festivities. According to police, two men were approached by two men and a woman, one of whom had a handgun.

Investigators said the suspects hit the victims, searched them and then let them go. Police said the suspects then got into a gold- or tan-colored four-door car. As they drove past the victims, a passenger fired a weapon, wounding one of the men in the chest. He was taken to UNC Hospitals.

If you have any information about the shooting, you are asked to contact the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.

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