Prior to the melee, local police had already arrested 56 people and issued 49 citations. At least 44 people were hospitalized for injuries and illness -- several of them for alcohol poisoning.
But things escalated at approximately 8 p.m. when the sheriff's department responded to a report of two stabbings. In the face of increased police presence the crowd grew rowdier with some people vandalizing street signs, lighting mattresses on fire, and hurling bottles and other objects.
"We saw just massive riots, people throwing bottles and rocks and tearing out stop signs," UC Santa Barbara freshman John Meza told local public radio station KPCC. "We looked over to see what they were all crowding around. There was a car -- they were kicking in the windows -- that had been, like, crashed into the curb."
Amidst the mayhem, one UCSB police officer was struck in the head by a bag of liquor bottles. One deputy from the sheriff's department was cut by a bottle, while another had a brick thrown at his head. Several other officers suffered minor injuries.
At one o'clock in the morning, after the officers had employed tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets, partygoers finally began to dissipate and the chaos subsided.
[Los Angeles Times]