St Patrick's Day mayhem in city

Revellers pour down Castle St at the height of the St Patrick's Day festivities yesterday afternoon.  Photo: Linda Robertson
Revellers pour down Castle St at the height of the St Patrick's Day festivities yesterday afternoon. Photo: Linda Robertson
Lime was forced to pull more than 200 e-scooters off Dunedin streets yesterday, as St Patrick's Day celebrations kept emergency services busy.

The temporary measure by Lime came as thousands of intoxicated young revellers dressed in green took to the streets of North Dunedin from early yesterday.

By 11am, firefighters had been called to an increasingly unruly Leith St, to extinguish a couch and rubbish fire which also included four Lime scooters.

While there, the Otago Daily Times was verbally abused by one apparently drunk man, and watched as another kicked and smashed a car window, cutting himself on the leg in the process.

And, by 2pm, emergency services were being kept busy monitoring large groups of young revellers making their way through the student quarter, stopping at flat parties along the way.

Revellers pour dPolice officers go to the aid of a young man who crashed off a Lime scooter at the corner of Castle and Dundas Sts in North Dunedin own Castle St at the height of the St Patrick's Day festivities yesterday afternoon. Photo: Linda Robertson
Police officers go to the aid of a young man who crashed off a Lime scooter at the corner of Castle and Dundas Sts in North Dunedin yesterday. Photo: Linda Robertson
Some were walking through traffic or weaving through the surrounding streets on Lime scooters.

One young man was spotted by the Otago Daily Times lying prone, apparently unconscious, after coming off a Lime scooter at the corner of Castle and Dundas Sts.

As police and St John ambulance staff came to his aid, large crowds of revellers continued the party around him.

A St John spokeswoman could not say yesterday how badly injured the rider was.

Dunedin City Council community services manager Simon Pickford said Lime had responded about 2.30pm yesterday by voluntarily withdrawing about 200 scooters from North Dunedin for the rest of the day.

''I think they have taken appropriate action, but obviously it's unfortunate,'' he said.

The parties had a contingency plan to temporarily remove scooters from areas where trouble might occur, but no plan had been in place for St Patrick's Day, he said.

Three blackened Lime scooters lie on Leith St after being set on fire by drunken revellers yesterday. Photo: Chris Morris
Three blackened Lime scooters lie on Leith St after being set on fire by drunken revellers yesterday. Photo: Chris Morris
The scooters were expected to be back on Dunedin streets today, he added.

Willowbank station officer Brent Key said he had also contacted Lime yesterday, after firefighters called to extinguish a rubbish fire arrived to find four burning Lime scooters on top.

The fire risked causing the scooters' damaged lithium batteries to explode, he said.

Lime city launcher Matt McNeil, of Dunedin, said in a written statement the company was working ''closely with the fire department and have processes in place to deal with batteries appropriately''.

The carnage in North Dunedin began on Saturday night, when revellers held an impromptu party in the Dunedin Botanic Garden.

Photographs of the mess left behind, showing the Mediterranean Garden littered with cans, bottles and beer boxes, were widely condemned on social media.

Two people were also arrested after disorder incidents on Saturday night - one after reports of at least six people fighting on the street in Opoho, and a second as people prepared to set fire to a couch in North Dunedin, only for a couch to be torched later on Castle St.

Late last night another out-of-control party saw police called to Butts Rd.

About 500 partygoers were moved on by officers and Fire and Emergency New Zealand extinguished a small fire.

A Police spokeswoman said there were extra patrols on duty and officers had dealt with extra calls.

''We encourage people to drink responsibly and keep an eye on their friends.''

chris.morris@odt.co.nz

Comments

I once asked the question, 'What could possibly go wrong?' if you combined electric powered scooters and alcohol powered students. Looks like I have my answer.

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg