VEISHEA VIOLENCE: ‘Like Watching Animals’

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Not for the first time, VEISHEA week at Iowa State University is marred by violence and arrests.

Police were called to the Campustown area shortly after midnight when a group of people turned violent.

Cars were tipped over, windows smashed and street signs and lights torn down.

One of the falling light posts hit a student in the head. The victim remains hospitalized.

As police moved in on the crowd, business owners had to take precautions to keep their employees and business safe.

The tradition of VEISHEA dates back to the 1920's. It was created to be a celebration of students and to show off the college but Tuesday night it was anything but.

Zach Rivera was forced to lock the doors at Jeff's Pizza. He said things quickly escalated as crowds started chasing a police car.

"When the last police car decided to drive down the street the whole mob decided to chase after him and they clamored over them it was actually kind of terrifying, like watching animals really."

Zach could only watch as his car he also uses for deliveries was trampled - the bumper hanging on and mirror dangling from a wire.

Footprints on the hood, roof and windshield show the path the crowd took.

"It is really frustrating that some people decided to do this we don't even know why that's what scary," Rivera said.

Jeff's Pizza closed a couple hours early as did a lot of businesses in Campustown for fear the crowds would take over.

"They locked the doors, made it appear we were closed and then the cops came by about 12:30 a.m. advising us to lock up."

General Manager of Jimmy Johns Jacob Eklund said even though closing early meant lost revenue it was worth it to keep everyone safe.

"Let's just get safety first. I care about my employees, that's number one, I care about my customers so after they said lock it up it was a no brainer."

News of VEISHEA being canceled might leave students upset but for these two businesses after seeing what the party can bring they're glad it's been put on hold.

"I think it's a great decision,” Eklund said. “If another incident happened what would you do then? I know a lot of people are going to be disappointed with activities but the safety of the students and the town are probably first."

veishea arrests"I was very relieved when they canceled it I know it's not about this but that's what it is now and that's depressing really,” Rivera added.

Bars are back open Wednesday and while businesses in Campustown say they count on VIESHA for extra revenue they agree nobody wins when the party gets that out of control.

So far three people are facing charges related to Tuesday night's melee.

Emily Guisinger, Andrew Herkenhoff and Abigail Lee are each charged with disorderly conduct.


  • Janet

    Thanks for sensationalizing an already difficult situation with your headline. I will no longer watch or use Channel 13 for any news source. *Channel 8 is so much better anyway.

    • William Denison

      When has reporting news become “sensationalizing”. I seen the video. People really were acting like animals. One kid was climbing a pole like a monkey and a hugh crowd of kids that looked like a heard of sheep being hearded by a blind border collie.

      • Janet

        Using that kind of language is for one reason and one reason only: to try and grab interest just like a tabloid. There were many aspects to the story and to use an “animal” analogy is simple tabloid journalism and exploitive of a terrible situation. If the writer of this headline cannot find any other accurate (rather then someone’s characterization of an event) then he should get a different job.

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