Japanese authorities struggled for hours trying to control an unruly crowd that turned a Halloween event into utter chaos.
The unofficial gathering of young locals and foreigners at the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo over the weekend before Halloween recently became an annual event and reportedly gets “bigger and rowdier” each year.
It usually features a massive street party attended by participants mostly dressed in costumes.
This year’s party, which attracted around 70,000 participants, went terribly awry, with incidents of rampant groping, violent behavior and blatant upskirt photography reported throughout the night.
In anticipation of potential disorder, Shibuya ward mayor Ken Hasebe urged surrounding establishments to temporarily refrain from selling alcoholic beverages in glass containers ahead of the Saturday night event.
He also asked attendees to behave themselves and advised them to go home early and take the last train of the night.
“If an appeal to people’s manners and morals do not lead to improvements, we’ll have to start considering formal, legal regulations and restrictions,” he was quoted as saying last week. “I hope that people will remember to be polite as they enjoy Halloween in Shibuya so that we can continue to have the celebration as a new part of our local culture.”
The mayor’s advice was left unheeded as a number of reports of unruly behavior soon reached local police as the party went out of control that night.
By the end of the event, police arrested five suspects involved in alleged groping, voyeurism and physical assault, SoraNews24 reports.
As impromptu dance parties broke out around the area, the streets were soon flooded with both people and some cars that somehow made it through the crowd.
A group composed of both locals and foreigners also reportedly climbed onto the back of a truck and then toppled it over in the middle of the crowd.
The truck driver was forced to escape from the truck after inebriated partygoers hopped on it and became increasingly difficult to maneuver through the crowd.
After the wild incident, the truck was left with smashed windows and a heavily-dented roof, prompting its owner to file a damage report with the local police.
Confrontations between the crowd and law enforcement officers also erupted after some members got too close to police vehicles.
In one clip, Japanese officers can be seen retreating to their car as some crowd members hurled abuse at them. The cops at least kept themselves from resorting to violence or making arrests despite the provocations of some individuals who went as far as attempting to open the doors of the police car.
The party-goers’ behavior sparked outrage from the public after videos and images of the incident emerged online.
Many netizens also expressed sympathy to the police officers who were tasked to keep order that night but were subjected to violence and abuse from the unruly crowd.