Authorities rate New Year’s party at Stateline as ‘not bad’ |

Authorities rate New Year’s party at Stateline as ‘not bad’

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – With 34 arrests in Douglas County and six in South Lake Tahoe, authorities are describing the New Year’s street party at Stateline on Monday night as about average in terms of troublesome activity.

“When that kind of crowd gets out there, and alcohol (is present), that’s not bad,” South Lake Tahoe police Lt. Marty Hale said of the arrest numbers.

Most of the arrests involved disorderly conduct, authorities from both sides of the state line said.

“People being rowdy, shoving other guests … not having good manners,” said Douglas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jim Halsey.

About 30,000 people gathered on Highway 50 in the casino corridor to ring in 2008, with that number swelling to an estimated 45,000 just before midnight. The street party is a tradition more than 20 years old.

A witness told the Tribune that a large fight, pitting about seven men against a group of seven others, erupted at Harrah’s outside of the Vex nightclub at about 1:30 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Halsey said disturbances inside the casinos on New Year’s were mostly left to private security to handle. The exception was a fight that broke out between two men inside Bill’s casino at about 2:15 a.m. A security guard who tried to break up the fight was knocked to the ground and hit his head, causing a concussion, Halsey said. The men involved in the fight fled and remained at large.

The crowds have become better-behaved in the past six years or so, Halsey said. Before that, hundreds of arrests typically were made at the New Year’s event.

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