Student party catches APD’s attention

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It has only been open a few days, but Albuquerque’s newest student housing development has already gotten the attention of police.

Hundreds of people held a massive street party at “The Cottages” apartments over the weekend and now Albuquerque Police are working to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

APD estimates that more than 600 people, mostly college students, threw the big, alcohol-fueled party at the Cottages development near the Sunport over the weekend, which some residents even compared to a riot.

The Cottages development is just off of Interstate 25 near Gibson and home to more than 700 college kids.

“It’s a really nice place to live,” said Hayley Mitchell, one of the many new residents.

While crews are still putting the finishing touches on the development, Mitchell says her hundreds of neighbors gave the Cottages an opening weekend that left a mark.

“Well last weekend was a little crazy,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell was one of many who saw the massive party in the middle of the development’s main road.

“You couldn’t even walk down the street without hitting people,” said Williams.

Hundreds of people were seen spilling in to the street. The mass was captured in a photo that’s been circulating around the University of New Mexico student population.

“There was tons of people, I mean people were jumping on cars, I mean the whole street was filled,” said Mitchell.

While the 786 bed apartment complex is new to New Mexico, the developer behind it, Alabama-based Capstone Collegiate Communities has built more than a dozen of the “The Cottages” properties around the country in several other college towns.

Online video from students living in the other Cottages properties shows that the developments have earned a reputation for being “party central.”

A search of the hashtag “#thecottages” on the video-sharing website, Vine, shows videos of massive pool parties where residents can be seen drinking. One video even shows residents lighting airborne fireworks. Another video shows people who appear to be passed out on the property from alcohol intoxication and even one resident who claims to have stolen an apartment golf cart.

After this last weekend in Albuquerque, APD says it’s taking note.

“We are aware of the reputation,” said Officer Tanner Tixier, a spokesman for Albuquerque Police.

APD says no one was arrested at the weekend party, however, it says officers received multiple reports of fights and that some people were transported from the property to local hospitals for alcohol intoxication.

Despite the issues, APD says it was able to diffuse the party quickly. However, now APD’s southeast area officers are meeting with apartment management to come up with protocol for when things get out of hand.

“Try to develop a best practice formula of how best to not impede on college kids ability to have fun but also make sure they do it in a safe an responsible manner,” said Tixier.

Some residents are now hoping it will make a difference.

“I honestly don’t think it’s going to be like that again, I hope not at least,” said Mitchell.

APD says they’ve been told that The Cottages’ management will be hiring private security to patrol the grounds. APD says it can’t do that because all of the roads through the development are privately owned and behind a gate.

Even though UNM has a lot of property over near the Sunport and most of the residents at the Cottages are students, UNM police says it won’t respond to any calls at The Cottages because it’s all on private land.

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