Summer concert season is in full-swing at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, and that means a big spike in arrests for drunk-in-public offenses and the occasional brawl. The Dierks Bentley concert at Shoreline on July 31 was no exception, and by the end of the night police arrested eight people on suspicion of being drunk in public and one man for allegedly punching someone in the face repeatedly.
The arrests last week were substantial, though not out of the ordinary, according to Sgt. Saul Jaeger of the Mountain View Police Department. He said there are arrests for being drunk in public at every concert, and the number of arrests can ramp up depending on the type of concert. The general rule of thumb is that country concerts like the Dierks Bentley show result in the highest incidents of alcohol-related offenses and fights.
"You don't get the same number of arrests for a Depeche Mode concert," Jaeger said.
At around 11:45 p.m. officers responded to a battery report at the concert, and later found that a man had allegedly punched a 23-year-old San Jose man in the face several times for "unknown reasons," causing a cut on the man's lip. The man, whom police identified as 26-year-old Kyle Cowgill, refused to provide his address, and after being arrested he pulled away from officers and attempted to flee. He was taken into custody and booked into county jail on suspicion of battery, resisting arrest and a probation violation.
At 11:46 p.m., just one minute later, police received a report that a 24-year-old Santa Clara woman had been attacked while walking through a group of people at the concert, according to Jaeger. The woman told police she was walking through a group of girls on the sidewalk with her friend when she was tripped and fell to the ground. Several girls in the group began hitting and kicking the woman while she was down. Officers could not locate the suspects, and later learned that the woman possibly suffered a concussion.
Jaeger said police were unable to determine whether or not alcohol was a factor in any of the three incidents of battery that occurred at the concert.
The eight arrests for being drunk in public were for a host of different reasons, all related to the state penal code regarding drunk and disorderly conduct. Jaeger said it's common for some people to drink to the point where they can't care for themselves and need to be taken in, other times it's inebriated concert-goers trying to get back into the venue after being escorted out.
Police post signs, give warnings and enforce the no-drinking rules in the parking lots and surrounding area of Shoreline Amphitheatre to cut down on the number number of alcohol-related arrests.
Another country concert at Shoreline, the Toby Keith concert on May 31, had a comparable spike in crime, according to police reports. Five people were arrested for being drunk in public, one person was arrested for battery and one person was arrested for possession of narcotics. Police also received reports of four additional cases of battery that night.
Jaeger said other, non-country concerts have their own problems as well. He said some concerts bring in more gang-related problems rather than drunks and fights, and that police respond with "all hands on deck" for raves, which are notorious for drug-related offenses.
The number of police officers deployed for concert events depends not just on the type of concert, but also how things went at previous concerts in the tour. Jaeger said they contact venues that recently held the same band to find out how many arrests and incidents occurred to get an idea of how much they need to step up enforcements. The number of tickets sold also gets factored in, he said.
All told, about 26 police officers were at the Dierks Bentley concert, making arrests well after the end of the concert, past midnight.