Cesar Chavez weekend sees ramped up crime rate


Illustration by Melissa Joseph

Caesar Chavez weekend is supposed to be a time to celebrate the life of Chavez and what he has done for Latino American Civil Rights, but many people choose to celebrate the weekend with extended partying which results in higher levels of crime and violence.

A total of 89 arrests were reported by Chico Police Department from Friday to Sunday. Police had much more to deal with this year compared to last year, which saw just 36 arrests and 50 citations.

This Chavez weekend there were 23 arrests for outstanding warrants, 31 alcohol/disorderly conduct arrests, seven for possession of a controlled substance or drug paraphernalia, six assaults, four DUIs and various other charges according to Chico Police Department arrest logs.

Statistics acquired from Chico Police Department that detail the arrests and citations from Caesar Chavez weekend

Chico Police officers were constantly monitoring downtown streets as parties ran throughout the day and long into the night.

Many partygoers required medical attention and several ended their weekend in Enloe Medical Center emergency rooms.

“There were 38 patients for drug and alcohol-related issues, the highest concentration of those visits was on Saturday to Sunday,” Nicole Johansson, manager of marketing and communications for Enloe Medical Center said.

The most serious incident of the weekend occurred Saturday as officers responded to a report of shots fired at a party on West Third and Cedar Street. When they arrived at the scene they found a woman with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to a Chico Police Department press release.

Officers arrived around 8 p.m. and later learned that another victim was shot while he was in a vehicle. He was immediately driven to the hospital by his friends who were in the car with him.

Officers have very little information about the incident, but they know it began when a fight broke out at the party. At that point, someone pulled out a firearm and fired several shots. The woman who was shot was a college student and not involved in the conflict. Both victims are in stable condition.

Compared to last year’s Cesar Chavez weekend, arrests increased by 147%, showing no sign of the partying slowing down over the weekend. Now that the parties have died down, it might be worth students looking into the man that Chavez was and remembering him for his life of civil rights activism.

Gordy Papalias can be reached at [email protected]