Police: Two UO students arrested for hosting 'unruly gathering'

EUGENE, Ore. -- Officers got a search warrant and broke down the door at a house party near the University of Oregon campus late last night, arresting two students and citing 13 other people for minor in possession, Eugene Police officials said.

Officers were called out to a house near the intersection of 11th Avenue and Ferry Street at around 10:40 p.m. Friday to follow up on a noise complaint called in by a neighbor.

One officer approached the house and saw numerous people on the front porch drinking from what looked like open alcohol containers, Eugene Police said. They reported hearing yelling and loud music from over a half block away.

"When officers showed up with their lights on, hundreds were heading out the back and into the alley," said Eugene Police Sgt. Kyle Williams.

Police later said that about thirty to forty people fled out the back door and into the alley behind the house.

Officers tried to contact people inside the home, however the people living at the house were not cooperating. Officers at the scene applied for a search warrant over the phone, which was granted by a Lane County judge at around midnight.

Police used force to enter the residence after the party hosts continued to ignore police, Sgt. Williams said. Witnesses at the scene said officers used a door ram to break in the front door of the residence.

Police said they found over 40 people inside the house during their sweep of the house, some were hiding in closets.

Police arrested 21-year-old University of Oregon students Christopher Larsen and Danny Escalante for hosting an unruly gathering, prohibiting noise and permitting minors to consume alcohol.

Police said they confiscated stereo equipment, laptops, cell phones speakers and a turntable as evidence of the prohibited noise charge against both Larsen and Escalante.

"The evidence associated with the investigation can be seized, and in this case it was," said Eugene Police Lieutenant Carolyn Mason. "One thing confiscated was a Mac Book which made me go, 'Oh, a college student is not going to be able to do his homework for a while'."

Under Eugene's social host ordinance the host of a large party could be held criminally responsible, should the event or social gathering become unruly. | More from Eugene Police

"If you can cooperate when you're contacted by law enforcement, you're more likely to walk away with a citation or even a warning than ending up in jail," said Lt. Mason, adding, "We prefer to go and have a conversation with the residence, explain the situation and explain social host ordinance to them, and get cooperation to resolve this situation."