I'm Shmacked Appearance Triggers Near Riot at U. of Delaware

PHOTO: Image from video footage of the Im Shmacked event-turned-riot at University of Delaware, Sept. 9, 2013.
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Police from three departments were called to control several thousand rowdy students at the University of Delaware who damaged cars and other property as they cavorted around a camera crew from I'm Shmacked, a group which claims to document college life.

It was the latest incident of a campus near-riot stemming from an I'm Shmacked appearance.

I'm Shmacked is scheduled to appear at Rutgers tonight with additional appearances in coming days at Providence and Penn State.

As many as 3,000 students formed around 11:30 p.m. Monday at the University of Delaware in Newark after I'm Shmacked announced on Twitter it would be there.

The party eventually led to thousands of students running through streets, jumping on cars and destroying trash cans and signs. There were also accounts of public urination and trespassing into neighbors' backyards, police said.

Seventy-five officers from the University of Delaware Police, New Castle County Police, and Delaware State Police arrived to break up the crowd. Two students who hosted the party — Anthony Ladisernia, 19, and Evan Touzzoli, 20 — were arrested, police said. They are charged with underage consumption of alcohol, disorderly premises, failure to obtain a special event permit, and excessive noise after 9 p.m.

Ladisernia and Tuozzolo will face an emergency hearing with the school's Office of Student Conduct this week, said Andrea Boyle, the university's national media relations coordinator.

Shmacked cameraman Marcus Hyde was also arrested. He was charged for disorderly conduct after allegedly instigating more chaos from students.

I'm Shmacked Tweeted on Monday: "The only goal for the week is to make sure University of Delaware video is sick... That is my main priority."

"All this wouldn't have happened otherwise [without I'm Shmacked], especially not on a Monday night," Newark Police Corporal James Spadola said.

University President Patrick T. Harker and Provost Domenico Grasso wrote a letter to the student body saying, "To be sure, the vast majority of students did not and would not participate in such an embarrassing, dangerous and costly episode."

A similar event occurred at a West Virginia University I'm Shmacked event this March, which resulted in small fires, and in May at West Chester University, when students flipped a student's car.

Arya Toufanian, 21-year-old founder of I'm Shmacked and a senior at George Washington University, told ABCNews.com that he and his team are journalists who just wanted to see if they had an actual market in Delaware. After the massive Twitter response, they headed to Delaware, but said police busted the party before his crew got there.

"The way parties work at University of Delaware is there are pop-up quick parties," said Toufanian. "Then the kids scatter and relocate." So Toufanian's crew followed the crowd, where the riot ensued, he claimed.

"Yeah, I definitely can't lie, the reason why everyone was on campus was because I was in town, but I can't take blame for that," he said. "I had a camera. Before we even got there, there were riots. People were already talking about Project Delaware over social media before we even got there. Power of social media is what was the cause of this riot."

"In reality, if university police cannot manage a university riot, you need to raise the bar for the school and for the students to not act that way. My crew didn't break bottles and cars. We were just filming."

Jill Shockey, Penn State University spokesperson, said the school does not intend to interfere with the I'm Shmacked appearance next week.

"We've been trying to educate our students about the risk of high risk drinking and we hope they will act responsibly and safely," Shockey said.

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