Although some Delta Kappa Epsilon members maintain the breakup of Sunday’s TANG competition was a response to recent fights at Toad’s Place, New Haven and Yale police spokesmen cited other reasons for the NHPD’s decision to act to stop the event.
New Haven Police Department spokeswoman Bonnie Winchester said police ended the TANG competition because of liquor law violations, while Yale Police Lt. Michael Patten said the action of the NHPD was related to new initiatives to prevent underage drinking in the city.
“The party was broken up because DKE was serving liquor without a permit,” Winchester said. “NHPD confiscated 17 kegs.”
Although no arrests were made, Winchester said, one student, John Kearney ’07, received a misdemeanor summons for dispensing liquor without a permit.
To combat underage drinking, the NHPD has received grants from the state government and has also joined the governor’s partnership on underage drinking.
But DKE members present at TANG said they still do not understand the reason why police chose to stop the competition this year.
“Everyone was really shocked and there was a lot of confusion,” DKE member Nick Campbell ’05 said. “No one knew why it was broken up.”
TANG, which is held every year, has not been broken up in the past, Anson Frericks ’05, the current president of DKE, said. He said police usually come to TANG, often in response to a noise complaint, but have never disrupted the competition.
Police told DKE that they could not discuss the reason for the party being disbanded, Frericks said.
“When the cops showed up, they weren’t really allowed to talk,” he said. “The cops seemed to think their presence was asinine.”
On Sunday, although some organizers of the event told the News that the kegs were confiscated because DKE had not obtained a one-day permit required for the sale of alcohol, Frericks said that the fraternity was not selling any alcohol.
“We only sold shirts and cups at the door,” he said. “To get into the party, you have to buy a cup or shirt, but you don’t have to drink.”
Frericks also said the interruption of TANG by NHPD officers was premeditated. He said he believes that police action stems from the involvement of several DKE members at a brawl at Toad’s Place which occurred April 2.
“There were some guys from DKE involved and our name got tossed around a lot,” Frericks said. “The cops are sick of us getting into fights.”
He said police had been telling the fraternity last week that the party was going to be broken up.
Winchester said the NHPD had responded to complaints at DKE in the past.