Panda Game revelers flip the car on Russell Avenue
Thousands of people descended on the Sandy Hill area after the annual Panda Game football game on Saturday, with revelers overturning a vehicle on Russell Avenue.
According to Ottawa police, most of the afternoon following the game between the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and the Carleton Ravens was considered under control. But the situation quickly deteriorated in the evening.
The police had a large presence ready most of the day. But when officers and members of the force’s emergency services unit were redeployed after 8 p.m., after reports of large crowds, the avenue was overrun.
“By the time we showed up there was a vehicle that was overturned and damaged in the streets,” the Ottawa Central Police Division told CBC News on Sunday morning.
No arrests were made and the crowd began to disperse as police arrived, police said.
Paramedics confirmed that seven people had been taken to hospital, but no serious injuries were reported.
Steve Higham moved to Russell Avenue just a few weeks ago. Realizing that thousands of people were outside his home, Higham decided to stand guard outside to ensure that no damage was done to his property.
“I’m not against people having fun doing street parties,” he said. “But it is clear that things have escalated which was disappointing and does not bode well for the future of the Panda Game games.”
The Sandy Hill resident wishes the police had acted sooner, although most of the revelers were polite and well behaved.
“You could hear the crowd amplifying in the noise, getting louder and louder, and then looking down the street people had decided to turn a car over and at that point I felt like,” D Okay, things are clearly getting out of hand. ‘”
“Is it really worth playing the Panda game?” “
Com. Mathieu Fleury, who represents the Rideau-Vanier district, described the consequences of the game as “disappointing”.
“Now you have people like me – who are chosen ones [and] I’m a sports fan – I’m like, ‘Is this really worth the Panda Game?’ “
While the football game between the rival teams has a long history of student celebration, the city councilor said he has never seen problems of this magnitude after a game.
“If we cannot be a mature city, where young people can have fun but have fun with respect in a licensed environment, there will have to be consequences,” he told Radio- Canada in English.
Mayor Jim Watson tweeted on Sunday that he had spoken to the Ottawa Police Service, which is currently conducting investigations to ensure those who participated are held accountable. He called the behavior “silly” and “immature”.
I spoke to the police chief and the OPS is currently conducting several investigations to ensure that those responsible are dealt with in the justice system. This kind of behavior is totally unacceptable, and those
involved should be ashamed of their idiotic & immature behavior.2 /
Ottawa Police have confirmed they are investigating the case and looking at social media, videos and other information to identify those involved, according to a press release issued Sunday afternoon.
“In some cases the crowd has become very disturbing,” the statement said, citing that one person was assaulted and a car was overturned.
“These behaviors are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Police will lay criminal charges or charges applicable under Ontario’s Reopening Act, Liquor License Act and city bylaws, if the evidence permits, he said.
Ottawa Police will work with staff from both universities as needed.
The Gee-Gees defeated the Carleton Ravens Saturday afternoon 19-17.