The perils of inviting "everyone'' to a teenage party in the modern world of social networking Web sites and radio shout-outs were dramatically illustrated over the weekend when more than 500 gatecrashers trashed a country house.
Thousands of dollars of damage was done and partygoers broke windows and tore out curtains at Georgian Colehayes Park in Devon, England, a building run as a field study center by descendants of the industrialist who first mass-produced tarpaulin.
Initially blamed on BBC Radio 1, which featured the private function on a "shout-out'' -- where listeners tell the world about cool things going on -- the chaos proved yesterday to have snowballed from an ill-advised poster hung at Torquay Grammar School. It was pinned up by Sarah Ruscoe, who invited one and all to her 18th birthday fancy dress bash, which she presided over dressed as a dominatrix.
"Little did I know almost everyone from my year would attend and what is more invite `everyone' from different schools and the surrounding area," she said ruefully, as her family struggled to cope with smashed furniture and beer-sprayed walls. "Admittedly, perhaps I was foolish and naive but how often does a poster cause chaos and devastation?"
She then provided the answer, in a world hooked together by MySpace, Facebook and school bulletin boards, as well as DJ Pete Tong on Radio 1.
"Perhaps it is when a large circle of friends, social networking sites and even the radio make communication that much more efficient," she said.
The BBC declined to apologize over the shout-out, in which Tong chattered cheerily about a party at Bovey Tracey, the Devon town close to Colehayes Park.
Carloads of teenagers then jammed the drive through Colehayes' 8 hectare park, overwhelming four bouncers, and later evading police with dogs, over a chaotic four hours.
Sarah's mother Rebecca Brooks, 54, who is considering action against the BBC, said: "It was terrifying, absolutely terrifying. The droves of people coming towards the house were frightening. It looked like we had a rock festival here."
Her husband Bill, 75, who bought the house nine years ago, said that the gatecrashers had acted "like animals," smashing furniture and windows and pelting police with glass.
A BBC spokeswoman said that Colehayes had not been identified in the shout-out
The event was already in danger of "spiraling out of control" in the last few days, Ruscoe said.
She said she had got friends to spread rumors last week that the party had been postponed.
"By the last day I felt physically ill with worry. I was dreading the night, but didn't expect it to turn out as bad as it did," she said.
Newly married and with his first child on the way, auto worker Wang (王) wanted to move into the apartment he bought in Wuhan three years ago, but those hopes were dashed by China’s ballooning property crisis. Saddled with nearly US$300,000 in debt and with his unit nowhere near completion, the 34-year-old decided he had enough and stopped making mortgage payments. He is among numerous home buyers across dozens of cities in China who have boycotted payments over fears that their properties will not be completed by cash-strapped, debt-laden developers. “They said construction would resume soon,” Wang said, only giving his surname. “But
‘COMMON THREATS’: In a speech marking the end of Japan’s rule over the Korean Peninsula, Yoon Suk-yeol said he wants to ‘swiftly ... improve’ relations with Tokyo South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol on Monday said Japan is a partner as the two countries face “common threats,” offering to improve ties between the allies of the US whose help Washington has sought in putting up a united front against the likes of China, Russia and North Korea. Yoon said in a speech to mark Japan’s World War II surrender and the end of its 1910-1945 colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula that he wants to “swiftly and properly improve” relations with Tokyo stemming from historical disputes. “When Korea-Japan relations move toward a common future, and when the mission of
NATIONAL SECURITY PRIORITY: Former US president Donald Trump might have retained nuclear codes after leaving the White House last year, a weapons expert said FBI agents were looking for secret documents about nuclear weapons among other classified material when they searched former US president Donald Trump’s Florida home on Monday, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The newspaper cited people familiar with the investigation as saying that nuclear weapons documents were thought to be in the trove the FBI was hunting in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. They did not specify what kind of documents, or whether they referred to the US arsenal or another country’s. The report came hours after US Attorney General Merrick Garland said he had personally authorized the US government request for a search
PLEAS FOR PEACE: After dozens of vehicles had been destroyed, Tijuana’s mayor told gangs the city would ‘take care of its citizens,’ and asked them to leave bystanders alone Hundreds of Mexican military troops were on Saturday flown into Tijuana to beef up street patrols after armed gangs hijacked and burned at least a dozen vehicles in the border city, the latest in a wave of attacks hitting civilians across the country. The US consulate in Tijuana instructed its employees “to shelter in place until further notice” around midnight on Friday because of the violence, as the Tijuana hijackings snarled traffic across the city and temporarily blocked access to one of the world’s busiest border crossings. About 350 national guard troops were flown in to reinforce thousands of federal troops already