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Police report a relatively chaos-free Halloween

Halloween antics kept Ashland police busy Wednesday, but were nothing like the mayhem the holiday delivered to the Plaza just a few years ago.

"It was pretty mellow," Ashland police Lt. Jim Alderman said Thursday. "We lucked out with a midweek holiday."

Still, the department responded to 145 calls for service between 3 p.m. Wednesday and 6 a.m. Thursday, far more than it usually sees overnight. And that number doesn't include the numerous incidents officers spotted themselves, especially while on foot patrol downtown, he said.

Police cited 23 people on charges of being minors in possession of alcohol — 17 who were older than 18 and six who were younger. Seven people were taken to the sobering center in Medford. One person was charged with misrepresentation of age to get into a bar.

The Vinyl Club and Martino's were cited for overcrowding, Alderman said.

Four people were cited on charges of possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and one person was cited on a felony charge of possession of two or more ounces of marijuana.

One adult and one juvenile were cited on charges of reckless driving and one of those drivers, who had passengers in the car, also faces four counts of reckless endangerment, Alderman said. One juvenile was cited on a hit-and-run charge.

Three teens were cited on third-degree theft charges. One adult and one teen younger than 18 were cited on disorderly conduct charges.

Eight people were cited for alleged city ordinance violations, which included having an open container of alcohol and misuse of a monument, for climbing on statues. Alderman said that two prominent statues — Abe Lincoln, who has lost his head to vandals several times, and Iron Mike, a pioneer who had his arm broken off on Halloween 2002 — survived the night unscathed, and no other significant vandalism was reported.

Three citations were handed out for unnecessary noise at parties outside the downtown area, Alderman said.

The crowd at the Plaza cleared by 1:30 a.m. Thursday and some officers got to go home early, Alderman said.

Medford police also had a full complement of officers on the street, including the chief, but reported no problems. Other small towns around the valley also reported quiet nights.

Reach reporter Anita Burke at 776-4485, or e-mail aburke@mailtribune.com.