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Fines for Woodfest ’11 through the roof for some

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The party last weekend that was dispersed with the help of pepper spray has resulted in heavy fines for some residents on East Woodruff Avenue.

Saturday evening into early Sunday morning, several houses organized a block party called Woodfest ’11 that spilled into the street, blocking traffic on East Woodruff Avenue between High Street and Indianola Avenue. The Columbus Police Department dispersed the crowd at about midnight with the use of pepper spray.

Hometeam Properties owns several of the houses that took part in Woodfest, including a duplex at 61 and 63 E. Woodruff Ave.

The duplex, which had at least 15 people on their roof throughout the night, received a fine of $800 to $1,000 for property damages from Hometeam Properties on Monday, according to Ariel Tipton, a second-year in industrial and systems engineering and resident of 61 E. Woodruff Ave.

The fines are a result of damage done to the roof because of the many people that were standing on it during Woodfest, Tipton said.

“We can’t have people on the roof. It’s in our lease. The roof started to sag so we have to pay to get it replaced,” Tipton said.

Hometeam Properties did not return calls or emails for comment.

Aeliya Mohsin, a second-year in marketing and resident of 63 E. Woodruff Ave., told The Lantern on Sunday that she was aware that having people on the roof was against the lease.

The duplex has not received any citations from the city yet.

“If Columbus wants to, we could also get charged for people just being on the roof, which could be up to $500,” Tipton said.

Columbus Code of Ordinance Title 45 states that “the occupant of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall not willfully destroy, deface, damage, impair or remove from the premises any of the facilities, equipment, appurtenances or any part of the structure thereof.”

No other residents of Hometeam Properties on East Woodruff Avenue said they received fines.

Privately-owned houses did not report fines. Some didn’t even get a call from their landlords.

“(The landlord) was here the next day and just said ‘clean up,'” said William Medkeff, a second-year in business and resident of 41 E. Woodruff, which is privately owned.

Tipton is not sure when she will find out about the city citation, but does not plan on having people on her roof again.

At Woodfest, two OSU students and a Columbus State student were arrested and charged with assault on a police officer. The three students — Matthew Coleman, 19, majoring in biology, Brian Witt, 21, majoring in civil engineering and Michael Shivak, 21 — have all posted bond, and have a court date set for May 25, according to court documents.

Several attempts to reach Witt and Coleman, the OSU students involved, were unsuccessful.

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