Fist Fights Break Out in Lowell Dining Hall

Hundreds evacuated and two arrested at Step Show after party

Dozens of police officers swarmed Mt. Auburn Street early Sunday after several large fist fights broke out at a party in Lowell Dining Hall, police and witnesses said.

Two men were arrested at about 1 a.m. at a party hosted by the Harvard Society of Black Scientists and Engineers that attracted about 800 guests, Cambridge police spokesman Frank Pasquarello said. Guests at the party hurled chairs at one another and the fights spilled out onto Mt. Auburn Street, Pasquarello said.

"It emerged into something of a melee," Pasquarello said.

The two men arrested for disorderly conduct were not Harvard students, Cambridge police officer Shawn Keough said.

"We haven't seen this many bodies since the Red Sox won the World Series the last time," Keough said.

Hundreds were evacuated from the dormitory and police closed off a section of Mt. Auburn Street as 19 police cars, including Harvard, Cambridge, and State police, arrived at the scene.

The party followed the annual Step Show sponsored by the Society of Black Scientists and Engineers in Lowell Lecture Hall. The celebration, advertised as Harvard's "biggest party of the year," drew students from several other colleges.

Witnesses said they heard glass break and saw police forcibly subdue one party-goer.

Raffael P. Deluca '08 likened the scene to a "riot."

"There were groups of people getting out of hand," Deluca said.

"I was standing there trying to grab somebody to dance with me and then I see a whole commotion," said Dorchester resident Amigo Perez, 21. "I'm like, 'Time to go.' "

—Check for updates.

—Staff writers Maxwell L. Child, Anna L. Tong, and April H.N. Yee contributed to the reporting of this story.