In the wake of last Saturday's violent riot in the streets of Bellingham, Western Washington University’s president vows to expel any student involved in the confrontation with police.
“If Western students are found to have participated, they do not belong at this university, and we'll see to that fact,” said Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard. "People are outraged on this campus. Our students are."
The unrest began as police dispersed a noisy house party that had drawn a few hundred people Saturday night. Many of the revelers moved to nearby Laurel Park, where they were joined by a “large, intoxicated, disorderly crowd,” said police. The situation boiled over and people started throwing items at police.
Glass bottles and cinder blocks were among the objects that damaged patrol cars and injured officers before the SWAT team could disperse the crowd.
Despite the group being so close to campus, none of the three arrested so far are students.
Police were reviewing footage from home videos to identify hurling objects at police, but Shepard says preventing wild parties begins when students enroll.
“They do not belong at this university,” said Shepard. “We'll see to that fact. This is not a party school. If you want to party go somewhere else.”
Shepard says arrest data shows only a third of party goers at any near campus party are actually students. He says the others are either high school students or twenty-something "clingers" that do not attend the university.
Meanwhile, staff and students at Western Washington remain stunned at the events over the weekend.
“A lot of us are here to build an education for the rest of our lives, and it’s kinda hard to do that when you get a reputation for that kind of thing,” said Gavin Dunne-Marble, student.
"It's really strange for Western," said Oliva Kramer, student. "It's kinda like, what's going on."
The university says it will discipline any student who violates Western’s code of conduct.
All three men arrested are scheduled to go before a judge Monday. They face charges of rioting and minor possession, among other things.
KING 5's Jake Whittenberg contributed to this report.