SJ police prepare for Mardi Gras

February 5, 2008 10:01:58 AM PST
This is Fat Tuesday and for San Jose police that means gearing up for Mardi Gras and making sure it doesn't get out of hand.

Fat Tuesday has come around again and since this time it coincides with Super Tuesday. Police in San Jose are hoping that perhaps there will be more professional people coming downtown tonight to celebrate primary wins and that could help tame the annual, unofficial Mardi Gras partying.

Last year, the partying didn't skim by problem-free -- San Jose police staffed the streets with a major presence, but revelers still smashed windows of more than a dozen small businesses on East Santa Clara Street.

When officers started dispersing large crowds away from downtown around 11 at night, the rowdiness carried toward East San Jose, where some slashed car tires and overturned newspaper stands.

Police made about 44 arrests, but overall still called it a success compared to prior Mardi Gras years. Like last year, police plan to close the entrances of certain downtown parking garages by 9:00 pm, and there will be zero tolerance for drinking on the street.

Officers will also enforce the city's curfew for minors on the street without an adult -- the curfew is 10:00 pm for those under 15-year-old and 11:30 pm for those under 18-years-old.

Police say they will target minors and are warning them to stay home tonight. Their rule of thumb is -- if you're too young to vote on this Super Tuesday, then you are too young to be on the streets partying on Fat Tuesday.