The annual arrival of thousands of American college students for the President's Day long weekend made for a busy weekend for Whistler RCMP, but in the end it was locals and Vancouver residents that caused the biggest trouble.
Over the weekend some 25 people were lodged in police cells for public drunkenness, specifically related to the invasion weekend. That doesn't include a handful of local calls from Whistler and Pemberton. The police also handed out 20 tickets for open alcohol, two tickets for public nuisance, six tickets for consuming liquor in public and 14 tickets for public intoxication.
According to Sergeant Shawn LeMay of the Whistler RCMP, it was a busy weekend dealing with college-age students - many of whom are still underage in the U.S. and were in Whistler because of the lower age limit. That meant picking up drunk visitors out of doorways, and sweeping the "nooks and crannies" of the village with foot patrols to round up people that had passed out.
One of the most serious calls came on Saturday, Jan. 15 at 10:49 p.m. when an estimated 200-plus people were attempting to crowd their way past door staff into a local nightclub. The RCMP attended and used a 100-foot extension cord to create some order in the line, and to separate guests that had wristbands or were on the guest list.
"It developed into an unsafe situation as they rushed the door as a mob and began to crush other people in line, making the situation unmanageable," said Sgt. LeMay. With some help from door staff to figure out who was first, order was restored and eventually all of the people in line were admitted.
While the crowds and level of intoxication were a concern for police, overall the group was well behaved and the students were not involved in any violence or property damage. The RCMP did assist one hotel in evicting the tenants of one room as a result of noise complaints, but otherwise kept the peace by having a larger presence in the village with some additional officers from outside the community.
Most of the major calls over the weekend involved locals or people from Vancouver.
At 11:43 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 the RCMP received a report of an assault in a local nightclub from the managers, involving three males.
It appears that two males got into an altercation and a third male intervened, breaking a bottle over the head of one of the males.
The male hit by the bottle was not injured and the male who used the bottle was the only person charged with an offence after he was detained by bar staff. The other males didn't ask for any assault charges and a 27-year-old from Vancouver was charged with public intoxication.