Charges laid following 300-person party in Kingston, Ont.'s university district

Police in Kingston, Ont. have charged three people following a large party in the city's university district over the weekend.

Police officers were called to Aberdeen Street at around 2:40 a.m. Sunday to disperse the crowd of about 300 people, well above of the 25-person limit for outdoor social gatherings under Ontario's COVID-19 regulations.

In a release Wednesday, Kingston police said officers charged three people who are 20 or 21 years old, all of whom identified as Queen's University students, were charged with hosting gatherings in excess of provincial limits under the Reopening Ontario Act.

All three are due in court in October. Kingston police did not name the three suspects in their release Wednesday, but said they would be informing the university.

"Additionally, as per a memo of understanding the identities of these students will be shared by Kingston Police with Queen’s University administration, who will determine if their Student Code of Conduct could be applied in such circumstances," the release said.

In a statement, Queen's University spokesman Mark Erdman said, "We were disappointed to learn that several of our students are facing charges under the Reopening Ontario Act as a result of their involvement in a large gathering on Aberdeen Street over the July 1st long weekend. Through an agreement with Kingston Police, the identities of these students will be shared with Queen’s University administration for consideration under the Student Code of Conduct process. Students that violate the Student Code of Conduct could face a range of possible university sanctions for noncompliance."

Erdman said the majority of Queen’s students have followed public health guidelines throughout the last 18 months.

"The University will continue to work closely with our partners in the City, Kingston Police, and KFL&A Public Health in our efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including continued education and awareness efforts, vaccination clinics on campus, and where necessary, addressing student conduct," Erdman said.

Penalties for hosting a gathering of more than 25 people can include a fine of between $10,000 and $100,000 and can also include imprisonment of up to one year, according to the Act.

Police continue to search for tenants of other properties who may have hosted gatherings and investigators are also looking to identify any of the partygoers.

Anyone with information can contact Const. Cam Mack at cmack@kingstonpolice.ca or via 613-549-4660 ext. 6371. Anonymous tips can be provided by calling the Kingston police general number 613-549-4660 ext. 0 and asking to remain anonymous.