Madison police used repeated bursts of pepper spray early today to break up crowds of Halloween revelers. But Police Chief Noble Wray and Mayor Dave Cieslewicz say in a joint statement that there were no reports of serious injuries or property damage. There were 269 arrests last night and early today after 178 Friday night and early yesterday. Department spokesman Mike Hanson estimated the crowd at 90,000 to 100,000 on the second night after about 25,000 on the first.
Police declared the event an unlawful assembly about two a-m, used officers mounted on horses to move them off State Street and then used the pepper spray. Lieutenant Pat Malloy says most of the arrests were for alcohol-related offenses, many of them for underage drinking and having open intoxicants on the street.
He says the local detoxification center was filled to capacity, and some had to be taken to area emergency rooms. Malloy says there were no large glass windows broken, as had been the case during the last several years. But the mayor says he can't characterize the Halloween bash as a successful event when 447 people were arrested over two nights, and the detox center was filled.