Pop-Up Party Company Under Scrutiny For Role In Keene Riots

Oct 19, 2014

Police in riot gear barricade streets of Keene.
Credit Courtesy Kaitlyn Coogan / Keene Sentinel

Governor Maggie Hassan says a company may have staged the massive house parties that broke out into riots in Keene Saturday and early Sunday morning.

After meeting with officials from the city and Keene State College Sunday, Hassan explained the parties were broadcast on social media.

"As far as we can tell," Hassan says, "there are companies now that advertise parties around certain events often near college campuses, attract people there, and the people are encouraged to do things that are then videotaped and put on social media."

The Massachusetts-based company Finna Rage hosted one of the parties Saturday, but has denied responsibility for the hundreds of rioters who threw bottles, uprooted road signs, and tipped cars.

Police in riot gear used tear gas and rubber bullets to contain the mayhem, which took place on the same day the city was holding its annual Pumpkin Festival.

About 30 injuries were reported, including head injuries and lacerations. Governor Hassan says police are still investigating what exactly incited the crowds.

 She says she hopes to see justice "in the case of police, prosecuting those people who they believe engaged in alleged criminal activity, in the case of the college holding their students accountable," and, Hassan says, she hopes students from other colleges involved in the riots will be held accountable on their campuses, too.