While countless citizens and out-of-towners are no doubt preparing their minds and bodies for Saturday’s drinking extravaganza known as Fake Patty’s, a local resident and Aggieville business owner has witnessed firsthand the dangers of the day and would like to offer a cautionary tale or two to would-be revelers.
Jeff Koenig, owner of Big Poppi Bikes and the resident of an Aggieville-adjacent neighborhood, can recall a series of incidents, each troubling in its own way, that occurred just outside of his front door during the 2011 celebration.
The first happened during the afternoon in that lull between the morning drinking and the night’s festivities. Koenig got a call from one of his tenants that a young woman was passed out on his front porch. She was unconscious and vomiting.
His wife phoned the police and roused the woman, who did not have any identification and could not say who she had been out with in Aggieville.
‘She could have died choking on her own vomit,’ Koenig said, had no one discovered her.
The second incident occurred around midnight when Koenig heard a female member of his household screaming at someone attempting to break through the front door.
‘I came tearing down the front stairs to find a large, 6-foot man throwing himself against the inside door of the house,’ he said.
Koenig threw open the door, he said, and pushed with all his weight against the man, knocking him down. A passing police officer intervened when it appeared that the man was getting up for a fight.
‘His first story was, ‘I thought this was my house,’’ Koenig said, before the man claimed he had come to town from Missouri and didn’t know where he was. The man also wanted Koenig to be charged for pushing him. He was not arrested but told to leave town, Koenig said.
Then, a couple of hours later, Koenig said, ‘I heard screams again.’ He witnessed a large man dragging a woman ‘by the scruff of her neck’ into a vehicle, while simultaneously beating her over the head.
When he ran downstairs, the vehicle was gone, and he found that a passerby had already called the police. He is not sure what happened to the woman.
Koenig’s stories were only one of many citizens gave to city officials on the destruction wrought during that day.
In 2012, there was much discussion throughout the city on how the to handle the event. Officers from several other agencies, including the Kansas State University Police Department, Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Office and Junction City Police Department assisted in keeping order, and there was a greater emphasis on patrolling the surrounding neighborhoods of Aggieville.
Koenig said he provided a 36-hour rest stop for police at his home last year and said that he didn’t witness any incidents comparable to those he saw in 2011.
Officials considered the approach to be more or less successful, and there was significantly less public discussion in 2013. This year, the police will again have outside assistance and plan to use Twitter to disseminate updates throughout the day.
But Koenig worries that without a change in how the day is viewed, it is headed in a dire direction. He said the partying is taken ‘too far’ and worries what would have happened to the unconscious young woman on his porch if she had passed out at the wrong house.
For many, re-branding the day and turning it in to something more family friendly is one solution, while Koenig said young women also hold the power to make change by refusing to take part in an event that, in his words, hurts women the most.
By re-branding the day and continued heavy patrolling, many, including Koenig, hope that outof- town revelers, who generally make up a large portion of those cited for alcohol violations, will be discouraged from coming to town with the attitude that they are free to do what they want.
‘When all that is down (in Aggieville) is drunk 24year-olds, they feel rather safe in their element,’ he said.