Hoboken’s annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed bar crawl, LeproCon, led to 15 arrests and two police officers being injured this year, leading Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante to say he is “disturbed” by the chaos associated with these types of events.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
In a news release issued yesterday, Ferrante announced that the Hoboken Police Department received 432 calls for service, down 27 from last year (459), between 8 a.m. on Saturday and 4 a.m. on Sunday.
Ferrante said that Hoboken police were well prepared for the event, receiving aid from the Union City, North Bergen, Westfield and Port Authority Police Departments, as well as NJ Transit police and the Hudson County Rapid Deployment Force.
The most alarming arrest came when a former Delaware University running back physically ran right through two police officers who questioned him about his involvement with a fight at McDonald’s around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday.
As a result of being forcefully knocked to the ground, Det. Christine Collins suffered three broken ribs, while Sgt. Steve Aguiar suffered a dislocated shoulder. Both went to the Hoboken University Medical Center to be treated for their injuries and have both been placed on injured status, Ferrante said.
Christopher Smallwood, 24, of Warminster Pennsylvania, turned himself into authorities yesterday afternoon and was charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault, according to Ferrante.
“I am disturbed by the repeated behavior that is occurring on these types of themed events, and have several measures that I am exploring with my command staff that I feel needs to be taken,” Ferrante exclaimed in the news release.
“I will not tolerate having any of our officers injured, for the purposes of a few to make a financial profit at the expense of our residents, and for the purposes of promoting deviant behavior attached to various holidays, which results in citizens and officers being hospitalized!”
Ferrante also thanked all the law enforcement agencies who helped patrol the streets during LeproCon, noting that 200 officers were in the street for the event.
This year’s number of arrests 15, is up from 2015, 11, tickets for city ordinance violations are down significantly from last year (54 vs. 93), along with 16 motor vehicle violations.
Finally, 35 people were transported to the hospital at this year’s LeproCon, compared to 39 in 2015.
LeproCon is sponsored by a private promoter and a number of local bars and has no affiliation with the City of Hoboken or its officials.