City police stop TANG tournament

TANG, Delta Kappa Epsilon’s traditional annual drinking competition and party, was interrupted yesterday afternoon by New Haven Police, who stopped the competition and confiscated most of the kegs they found in the fraternity’s yard.

DKE member Nick Campbell ’05 said eight to 10 policemen disrupted the party and took 20 of the fraternity’s 50 kegs. Although the traditional TANG competition — in which teams from residential colleges compete in a beer-drinking relay race — was stopped, no arrests were made and the party continued after police left, a TANG organizer who wished to remain anonymous said.

The New Haven Police Department was unable to comment on the incident as of Sunday night.

The TANG organizer said an undercover officer entered the party by posing as a student. Jesse Pizarro ’06, a member of Trumbull College’s male TANG team, said uniformed officers arrived at the frat between 1 and 2 p.m.

The TANG organizer said the police told him that the kegs were confiscated because the frat had not obtained the one-day permit which is required for the sale of alcohol. But he said that he believed that there was some confusion about the applicability of the rule, since the frat was not charging for the alcohol, but only for the purchase of cups and shirts.

Campbell said no one expected the police to confiscate the kegs. Police usually appear at TANG to ensure that the all the students are safe and that the music is not too loud, he said, but that they had not attempted to interrupt the drinking competition before.

“At first everyone thought that they would be gone soon but then it became clear that they intended to stop the party,” Pizarro said.

Campbell said most students who attended did not understand why police intervened. When questioned by students, he said, many of the policemen admitted that they didn’t even know why they were there themselves.

“Suddenly, a cop walked into my room and said they were there to break up the party.” Campbell said. “They never gave any reasons why they were there.”

The TANG organizer said that despite the confiscation, police allowed DKE to continue to have people and music, and did not confiscate the kegs located in the basement of the frat house. He said police apparently did not come to the party with the intention of arresting anyone or of getting anyone in trouble.

“They had to do what they had to do,” he said.

A New Haven Police officer watches participants in yesterday’s TANG competition, hosted by Delta Kappa Epsilon. Police eventually stopped the competition and confiscated 20 kegs of beer.
Susanna Moore
A New Haven Police officer watches participants in yesterday’s TANG competition, hosted by Delta Kappa Epsilon. Police eventually stopped the competition and confiscated 20 kegs of beer.

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