New Year’s Report: Lots of people, not much mayhem


Watson happy with crowd behavior

The crowds in Mammoth over the New Year’s holiday were as big as they’ve ever been, said Police Chief Dan Watson, but on the whole the alcohol-marinated visitors behaved themselves.

“There was a lot of revelry, a lot of partying in town,” he told the Town Council Wednesday evening.

“There’s a definite difference between the group that comes the week of Christmas versus the week of New Year’s. But we had no major problems. We had a number of calls for service, but no major problems.”

Watson said the Mono County Sheriff’s Department had four personnel in town to assist the MLPD; the California Highway Patrol had at least eight officers patrolling Mammoth’s streets; and Watson said Fish & Game even had one of their wardens out.

Watson said the CHP made three DUI arrests in town and the MLPD made another when an intoxicated driver ran into one of the town’s buses. 

In addition, Watson said the local gendarmes had to take three drunks to Bridgeport because they were so incapacitated, the police had no options with them.

“We could have arrested a whole lot more,” Waston said. “There were a lot of people in town who over-imbibed, which is not unusual on New Year’s anywhere; we also had an incident with one of the buses where a driver ran into one of the ESTA buses and we ended up arresting the woman for DUI.

“The Village was quiet and uneventful. I think once the concert was over, which started at 9 o’clock, the open area cleared out pretty quickly. That’s because all the restaurants and bars had paid reservations only, so there weren’t people waiting in line to get in.”

Traffic also did not present major problems, he said.

“I went home at 3 a.m. and the buses were full of people. I also saw a lot of people walking home in 10-degree weather at 2:30 in the morning, and I guess they were sufficiently lubricated that they didn’t mind the cold weather.

“When we got up in the morning, nobody was passed out in a snowbank, so there were no major problems. The town was full of people and that’s all good.”