What you missed in Columbus for April 19

Seven cars damaged during campus-area riot, the city’s violent year continues and more from the weekend

Andy Downing
Columbus Alive
A student walks by scattered scooters and trash on Sunday, April 18, 2021, after police estimate about 1,000 people crowded the block on Chittenden Avenue between North High and Summit streets during the annual "ChittFest," a party held the day of OSU's spring football game. 

Columbus police dispersed the massive block party overnight near Ohio State's campus which reportedly started to get out of hand around 10:45 p.m. on Saturday. No arrests were made.

Ohio State football kicked off the run-up to the new college football season with its annual spring game on Saturday, which some celebrated by rioting in the streets, severely damaging seven parked cars. The riot, which occurred late Saturday evening on the stretch of Chittenden Avenue between North High and Summit streets, took place when thousands crowded the streets during the block party dubbed “ChittFest."

On social media, videos circulated over the weekend of people both leaping onto and flipping over cars. Noticeably absent in the footage, however, was any notable police presence, with the Dispatch reporting that zero arrests were made, though police said they were working to identify those involved in the destruction. (Related: There are no flight recordings of CPD helicopters tracing a script Ohio in the air above Chittenden Avenue on Saturday.)

"Last night's property destruction and willful disregard for safety just off campus is unacceptable. Ohio State will work with local law enforcement to identify and hold responsible any students who took part," university spokesperson Ben Johnson said in a statement to the Dispatch.

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The city's spike in gun violence continued on Saturday, with a drive-by shooting on the Southeast side killing one and injuring five. The shooting occurred outside of a Dollar General where a small group had gathered to mark the one-year anniversary of the shooting death of 28-year-old Jarrin Hickman, which occurred on April 17, 2020. LaToya Renee Carpenter, the woman killed, was struck by a stray bullet while driving by the shopping center.

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In political news, Dayton mayor Nan Whaley, who came to prominence with her leadership display following a 2019 mass shooting, announced on Twitter this morning that she is running to be the Democratic nominee for Ohio governor. If successful, Whaley would likely square off against Gov. Mike DeWine in the 2022 election.

“The people of Ohio deserve better. The same politicians have been in charge for 30 years as Ohioans have fallen further behind. It’s time for a change,” Whaley said in a release. 

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Also breaking this morning, Rep. Steve Stivers announced that he would not seek reelection in 2022 and would instead leave office to run the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. The Republican congressman currently represents the 15th District, which is one of the most egregiously gerrymandered districts in a state full of them. I mean, just look at this thing.