As many residents of East Woodruff Avenue joined efforts in hosting a block party that drew more than 1,000 people Saturday night, they might have neglected to heed their landlord’s warnings.
Host houses of the party, known as Woodfest ’11, included residents of 41, 43, 56, 62, 66, 68, 71, 72, 78 and 115 E. Woodruff Ave., said Alex Curti, a fourth-year in finance and logistics and resident of 62 E. Woodruff Ave. These houses are located between High Street and Indianola Avenue.
Hometeam Properties emailed the tenants of the houses they own on East Woodruff Avenue Thursday, warning them of Woodfest, Curti said.
Hometeam owns 62, 72, 78 and 115 E. Woodruff Ave. Hometeam warned residents to be safe during Woodfest and clean their yards by Monday morning.
Although officers from the Columbus Police Department dispersed the Woodfest crowd using pepper spray around midnight Saturday, residents of 62 E. Woodruff Ave. said no violations of the lease occurred except hanging a banner.
Zach Zimmer, a fourth-year in finance and resident of 62 E. Woodruff Ave., said the banner was taken down at about midnight. Zimmer said he thought Hometeam heard of the party from students who work for them, but he was not sure.
The sample lease on Hometeam Properties’ website says tenants may not “dwell” on the roof, must comply with laws pertaining to distribution of a controlled substance, and cannot hang banners without Hometeam’s permission.
Violators of the lease are subject to $50 fines.
In Thursday’s email, Hometeam said city code enforcement would issue citations Monday morning if yards are not cleaned and/or property is damaged.
The rest of the houses are privately owned and residents declined to comment.
Private landlords of properties on Woodruff Avenue did not notify their residents of the block party, residents said.
Woodfest was a celebration of school spirit and American pride, said Chang Song, a fourth-year in finance and DJ of the block party.
“I would tell the crowd to chant ‘USA’ and they all followed,” Song said. “I was sober the entire time. It was a good vibe and everyone was having fun.”
Curti said he thought the pepper spray was unnecessary.
“I think it’s dumb that people threw bottles at the police,” Curti said, “but that doesn’t merit spraying 2,000 people.”
Other residents agreed that Woodfest was a controlled block party.
“We were all just sitting on the patio and a cop says ‘Get the f— inside’ and is spraying us,” said William Medkeff, a second-year in business and resident of 43 E. Woodruff Ave. “Two of my friends got sprayed right in the eyes and four to five people were puking.”
Matthew Coleman, a 19-year-old majoring in biology, Brian Witt, a 21-year-old majoring in civil engineering, and Michael Shivak, 21, were arrested for assault on a police officer following the block party, Woodfest ‘11.
All three were charged with assault on a police officer, and Coleman was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer. Coleman and Witt tried to evade police and sustained “minor injuries” in the process, according to Sgt. Richard Weiner of the Columbus Police Department.
Residents of Woodruff tried to get a permit to block the street for the party through their community ambassador, but police would not allow it, Zimmer said.
Weiner said it was necessary to pepper spray the crowd to prevent further damage and injuries. He also said he did not know why students could not get a permit for Woodfest, but it was a lengthy process.
Residents will be notified today if they receive any citations.