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Teen host of Brampton house party said situation got ‘way out of control’

A general view taken on on Sunday May 4, 2014 of the under construction mansion that suffered an estimated $70,000 worth of damage after up to 2,000 teens held a party at the site. The party was broken up by a heavy police presence with several arrests made for assaulting police officers and public intoxication.

Chris Young/The Globe and Mail

The mother of a high-schooler who hosted as many as 2,000 unexpected party-goers at a Brampton, Ont., mansion says she is still reeling from the events of Friday night.

Asked how she would discipline her child, the woman who identified herself as Julie responded: "He's my son, what can you do?" She declined further comment.

Her son, 17-year-old Canice Ejoh, told The Globe and Mail that he and his friends had sent out an invitation on Facebook and planned on a gathering of about 1,000 people, but it spiralled out of control as word leaked out on social media sites. "I was convinced that I could handle it," Mr. Ejoh said on Sunday. "I thought everything was under control. I didn't want this to happen."

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Police were called to the home on Stanley Carberry Drive, a mansion under construction, to find windows smashed, broken hand railings and holes in the wall after what was supposed to be controlled house party turned into an out-of-control one. The event was promoted on social media under the hashtag #mansionparty. Police say that between 1,500 and 2,000 people attended, some of whom posted images of the crowded house.

"I think that social media is not the place to advertise a party, simply because we're really not aware how far reaching social media really is and how quickly things can get out of control," said Constable Thomas Ruttan, a spokesman for the Peel Regional Police. "I'm just thankful that no one was injured."

As many as 60 police units were called to the mansion after a noise complaint from a neighbour. Several of the attendees were charged with public intoxication, which carries a fine. A few others were charged with assaulting police officers, a criminal offence.

Const. Ruttan said police were aware of the party after seeing it promoted on Twitter. "We did speak with the homeowners and advised them not to have the party, we advised them to cancel it. However, that did not happen," he said.

Mr. Ejoh, a student at St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School, said he had cleared the gathering with his mother. He was charging $5 for males to enter, and females were free. The house, he said, has been under construction for about four years, but he lives nearby in Brampton.

Mr. Ejoh said he and his friends promoted the party on social media and were happy with the response. "I just wanted to have a party. I had the house for it, and I just thought why not," he said.

All was going well at the beginning of the evening. People were paying at the door. A steady stream of party-goers were entering. But then Mr. Ejoh noticed about 300 people lined up outside. The house was getting cramped. People were coming through the sides of the house, and breaking windows to get inside.

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"Way out of control, way out of control," he said, when asked to describe the scene.

He tried to stop the party at one point, but nobody was leaving. Instead, he said, it got rowdier and people started punching walls. He said he called the police around 10:30 because my "house was getting too trashed."

Mr. Ejoh said he thought he could handle such a large party but has since learned his lesson. "I'm never going to do this again in my life because it's way too stressful," he said.

Const. Ruttan said the investigation is continuing, and couldn't comment on whether further charges would be laid.

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Education Reporter

Caroline Alphonso is an education reporter for The Globe and Mail. More


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