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The wildest college beach party of the year turned into a full-blown riot
Teens took selfies through tear gas at #Deltopia2014.
A spring break party turned into a riot in southern California. It’s OK if you weren’t there, because participants livetweeted the chaos.
Students who attended a riotous annual party known as Deltopia in the beachside community of Isla Vista in Santa Barbara, Calif., spent the day documenting the Spring Breakers–esque debauchery. When the police response turned violent, their camera phones were already out.
It started out like any outdoor event. There was a lot of hype.
— ✝☯เซซี่เลีย☯✝ (@Cessseeezy) April 2, 2014
It was hot, loud, and crowded, and the drinking started early. Group selfies were everywhere.
— Christopher Heng (@ChrisHnnng) April 6, 2014
— ——— (@samanthaemazer) April 6, 2014
— ¢нαяυѕ ʝσниѕтσи (@chaarbearr) April 6, 2014
— Tay ♛ (@taymorris) April 6, 2014
— Lucas remine (@swaggsofreshdoe) April 4, 2014
— vaae❁ (@VanieJaay) April 6, 2014
— T.Y. (@Smooth_Goon) April 6, 2014
— Rodrigo Hernandez P (@HotDogoftheDAY) April 6, 2014
— Alec (@alecdombkowski) April 6, 2014
— natalie (@NatalieVale) April 6, 2014
— Yareli Nolasco (@YareliNolasco) April 6, 2014
Some students passed out early.
— Elsie Tut (@LCTut) April 6, 2014
— Francis DeGuzman (@fcukinfrvncis) April 6, 2014
But things devolved later in the night as a large-scale street brawl broke out, resulting in 44 hospitalizations. Police arrested over 100 partygoers but failed to maintain control of the rowdy crowd. They deployed pepper spray and tear gas.
— Alo ⚽ (@ihtsalondraaCx) April 6, 2014
One teenager may have created a new genre of selfie… the tear gas selfie:
— Justin H (@Jewstinn) April 6, 2014
More bystanders took more selfies amid the chaos. Some showed minor injuries sustained from rubber bullets. The #riotselfie hashtag started to take off.
— Slayer (@AyeYoSavage) April 6, 2014
— Juicy-J (@Doitlikejordy) April 6, 2014
— Trev Dominguez (@killaatrev) April 6, 2014
— Jason (@jlub84) April 6, 2014
— Denzel Cagampan (@RealBobbyBusche) April 6, 2014
— Lauren (@laurpedo) April 6, 2014
— ThatGuyDee (@IsThatDarrion) April 6, 2014
— WⅢ WAS (@TribeWILL) April 6, 2014
— Clay Yantzer (@ClayYantzer) April 6, 2014
— Jake Gnasty (@lil_silentG) April 6, 2014
It gets even more insane.
— Trill Bill (@BenKeilesKeiles) April 6, 2014
— Andrew Medina (@atm_og) April 6, 2014
Some guys are trying to flip a van so I started chanting “MOVE THAT BUS!” #Deltopia2014
— 〽️ichael (@Holsinger76) April 6, 2014
Cop got stabbed in the eye and we’re about to walk into a riot ?? #deltopia2014
— Nicole Volpe (@nicolevolpe55) April 6, 2014
— Aubrey (@AstroGumby) April 6, 2014
— Makaela McGuire (@makaelamcguire) April 6, 2014
— Samantha ♥️ (@Sweetsz____) April 6, 2014
The aftermath wasn’t pretty either.
— fade into you (@GypsyDelRay) April 6, 2014
— Ogan Gencer (@ThaRealOGD) April 6, 2014
Just saw a car drive by with puke down the passenger side door. #deltopia2014
— AnnaGrace Arnold (@AnnaGrace_A) April 6, 2014
— £dwin V. (@Godzillaedwin) April 6, 2014
— Blank. (@BDTigerGerm) April 6, 2014
But most woke up the next morning with enough photos and stories to last a lifetime. Or at least until next year’s spring break.
— Liv (@Livfree143) April 6, 2014
Kate Knibbs is a notable tech reporter and pop culture essayist. A former staff writer for the Daily Dot, her work has appeared in Gizmodo, the Ringer, AV Club, Digital Trends, Popular Mechanics, and Time.