Aug 232010
Authors: Rachel Childs

Bob Criswell woke up around 2 a.m. Sunday to a phone call saying that something triggered the alarm to his business. He hurried downtown only to find police blocking his way.

Criswell avoided tear gas and fights to find the front window of Santa Fe Craftsmen shattered. Nothing was stolen, but whatever caused the break caused more than $3,000 in damage.

Wooden boards now cover the empty space.

“It’s not exactly the look I want for my business, but it’s something,” Criswell said.

Criswell’s broken storefront window lingers as one of many casualties of the riot that broke out on early Sunday morning at the intersection of College and Mountain Avenues in Old Town.

Fort Collins Police Services responded to a mob of approximately 400 people who flooded the intersection and caused damage to property and local businesses.

“Some were hollering at the cops. Some were standing just to see what would happen,” Criswell said.

Citations were written on the scene, but no arrests have been made as of Monday evening, said FCPS spokeswoman Rita Davis.

Davis said an altercation between two men at 100 Octane Bar & Night Club in Old Town Square occurred shortly before the riot began. The men were removed from the bar and continued to fight in the street, after which several other unrelated fights took place.

Once police arrived, the scene escalated to people throwing furniture, lighting trash cans on fire, and physical fighting. Video and photographs of those involved are currently being analyzed to determine their identity. No weapons have been found to be involved thus far.

Police shot tear gas into the crowd after repeated requests for people to leave, according to Davis. Failure to leave the area resulted in many people not involved in the riot to be caught in the storm of gas.

Two people were treated for cuts at Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies. Both have been released as of Sunday according to Poudre Valley Hospital Services.

It has not been confirmed if any CSU students were involved in the riot. University policy states that any student participation in this type of event is subject to suspension from all universities supported by the State of Colorado for a year.

Criswell’s shattered window is fixed, but he would like to see the person responsible come forward.

“Whether I get the window paid for by them or out of pocket, I’m still proud to be a Downtown Fort Collins merchant. It’s a great place to be,” he said.

Crime Beat Reporter Rachel Childs can be reached at

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