Police crack down on ‘Cold Shot’ party

(Photo by: Shelby Blackley)
(Photo by: Shelby Blackley)

The Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) have confiscated 4,400 cans of Molson Cold Shot beer intended for a St. Patrick’s Day gathering from a student residence this morning.

The event, which was being put on by the “Loyal Order of the Water Buffaloes” was supposed to supply $5,500 worth of beer to students with the proceeds from the event, according to a representative from the group, going to local charities.

The Water Buffaloes, commonly referred to as simply the “Water Buffs,” are not affiliated with Wilfrid Laurier University.

WRPS issued a press release about the incident on their website. It stated that they “had information about plans to sell alcohol from this location without a Special Occasion Permit on St. Patrick’s Day. The planned “Cold Shot” party was allegedly being run by an unofficial student group and tickets were being offered for sale through social media channels.”

The statement later added that those involved could face charges under the “Liquor Licence Act in relation to the illegal sale of alcohol.”

Vince Amodeo, a representative from the Water Buffaloes, said that WRPS arrived at the door of one of their executive members on Columbia St. West where the group was holding the beer at 6:30 a.m. with a warrant to seize the alcohol.

He also stated that no warning was given to the group prior to the seizure.

As a result, Amodeo is unsure about what donations the group can make to local charities. He said that money from these events usually go to the Waterloo Food Bank, the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, 5 Days for the Homeless and a few others.

The tickets to the event, which were being sold the past week, covered the cost for both the beer and the contribution to charities. Amodeo also noted that the returns they make on the cans go completely to charity.

“Everything we’re doing goes to local charities,” explained Amodeo. “The warrant, in my opinion, was just to keep the cold shots out of tomorrow, and to have [WRPS] better control the situation tomorrow.”

He added, “I was kind of shocked, and maybe we could’ve explained our decision, or maybe even change [the event] to alter it for what rules they would’ve had for it. I was very ready to work and make it happen. This is an event that has gone on for a long time. It’s a shame it can’t happen this year. It’s the worse case scenario.”

The event by this student group is hosted twice a year, with one on Homecoming and one on St. Patrick’s Day, but Amodeo said that they haven’t had any incidents with WRPS or safety since the event began “six or seven years ago.” He added that the intent of the party “was to raise money.”

“It’s a charity event. We don’t force anyone to drink by any means. If they would like to, it’s there for them,” he said.

But with an Ezra Avenue street party looming, Amodeo believes that the crackdown of his group’s party has everything to do with Ezra.

“If there was no crackdown on Ezra, there would’ve been no crackdown on us,” he said. “We keep control of the guests at our party. We monitor [the parties] and it’s never a nuisance.”

While they did not have a permit, Amodeo said that they are looking to register the student group as a non-for-profit organization to formalize what the organization does.

The Cord contacted the WRPS for a comment on this investigation, but could not reach the officer involved at press time.  Staff sergeant Paul Driedger from WRPS commented on some of the plans for Monday’s celebrations.

“The public safety unit is going to be working that day. They will be out working today. They will be on foot downtown and the Ezra area in squads just like our normal folks do and that’s just to ensure public safety,” he explained.

He added, “We hope people enjoy themselves and have fun and celebrate responsibly.”

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