More than a dozen Penn State Altoona students were arrested in what Logan Township police called a "riot situation."
With assistance from Altoona police, state police and Penn State Altoona campus police, Logan Township police made arrests while patrolling for hours after breaking up a party around 3 p.m. Saturday.
About 800 Nittany Pointe Apartment residents were enjoying the 60-degree temperatures Saturday with a party called "Toon Party" that included a DJ and drinking outside of the building, police said.
All the students, even ones not drinking or attending the party, paid the price for an alleged vodka bottle thrown at a police car.
"One kid had to ruin it for everyone," said Justin Van Houten, 20. He said he did not attend the party, but watched events unfold from his apartment.
Partygoers were dispersed and, for the next few hours, students were handcuffed if they disobeyed orders to stay inside their apartment. Logan Township Police Chief Ron Heller said shouting continued and numerous beer bottles were thrown from balconies as police patrolled.
One student, Kevin Nelson, 19, of Vermont, who did not attend the party, questioned the policy as he was on his porch playing his guitar and not drinking.
Nelson was pulled from his porch before police used a Taser on him and arrested him for not going inside his apartment.
Several of Nelson's friends, including Spencer Bock, 19, of Pittsburgh said they were horrified at what they saw as police brutality.
"I'm still shaking," Bock said.
Bock said Nelson was not drinking and is the type to go to a library when others party.
Logan Township Police said Nelson was arrested for riot, failure to disperse, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and aggravated assault.
Later that day, the officer involved in the incident, Logan Township officer Chris Bender, said Nelson was arrested in that manner because "It was a riot situation. He failed to disperse and resisted arrest."
Bender was unapologetic for his use of force and refused to speak further.
Heller was in Pittsburgh on Saturday, but police kept him informed throughout the day.
Heller said Nittany Pointe Apartment Complex is private property but with public access in parts including parking lots.
"We have an open container ordinance," he said. "First [officers] went on scene and sat and observed."
He said he did not know of the initial call that brought police to the scene.
Their presence was unwarranted, some students felt.
"It makes people uncomfortable all the time," Brett Lord, 20, said as a police car drove past.
Heller said sometimes people make calls complaining about their roommates.
"[More than 800] students were there. They started shouting obscene language at us. As an officer got out of his car a blue vodka bottle was thrown and shattered near the officer and three students," Heller said.
He said many of the students cooperated with police and went inside their apartments.
Those arrested were arraigned Saturday evening at Blair County Prison, police said, for charges of underage drinking, rioting, disorderly conduct and related charges.
Logan Township police said Nittany Pointe management is a major part of the problem. Nittany Pointe security was not present, and no fines were distributed to occupants.
Heller said the management does not evict occupants who have been arrested or destroyed property.
Lieutenant Gil Barton said Nittany Pointe residents have been continuously causing problems and fighting back against police.
"Our guys don't even want to go up there," Barton said.
Heller said he is researching whether Nittany Pointe management can also be cited for their residents' actions.
A Nittany Pointe manager was not available for comment Saturday.