The power of online social media was demonstrated recently when 400 unruly revellers gatecrashed at a birthday party after details were posted to Facebook.
Bradley McAnulty had intended only 30 friends to come to his family home in Poole, Dorset but the news was leaked to Facebook and spread by Blackberry Messenger.
The mob that turned up at Bradley's birthday party was a host's nightmare. Daily Mail reports the party crowd went out of control and broke through the gates, ruined the garden fence, smashed windows, pulled the back door off its hinges, ripped down the lounge curtains, damaged a children's outdoor playhouse and spilled out to the streets.
Neighbors were alarmed at the sight of unruly teens jumping over cars, throwing beer cans and driving scooters dangerously on the road. Girls were seen squatting and urinating in a neighbor's garden.
The police arrived with dogs after neighbors called them. They dispersed the crowd and arrested two boys 16 and 17 for drunk disorderly behavior.
According to The Sun, Bradley's dad, Michael, 48, left the house to spend the evening at the club nearby to allow his son entertain his guests. But at about 10 p.m., after he received calls from neighbors, he rushed home to his four-bedroom house in Parkstone, Poole and helped the police disperse the crowd.
Daily Echo reported he said: “I didn’t know it had all gone wrong. It just started getting silly. Every now and again a new lot would show up. We were still tidying up until the early hours.”
The family spent all night clearing up the mess left by the crowd.
Daily Echo reports the cost of damages ran into hundred of pounds. Bradley reported seeing people hit with bottles. He said police came around 10 p.m. and warned them to calm things down and left, but they returned as the party got rowdier.
Bradley said things went out of control because people spread the news on blackberry. He said: "It started off with a few people bringing plus-ones and I didn’t see a problem with letting them in, but then a larger group turned up and I said no.They opened up the side gate without me knowing and from there people just kept coming in. After a while, the street was full of people coming into this house and I kind of lost control of what happened. I wanted the party to be bigger than normal and the best party ever. It was hard to take in on the actual night looking at the amount of people. It got really out of hand. It was scary how quickly things can change."
According to Daily Mail, Bradley's father is an IT analyst who only recently lost his job at Barclay's Bank. He said: "My son was having a party for him and some friends, and it got out on Facebook and someone mentioned BBM (Blackberry messenger). I got a call from one of the neighbors and they said there are about 100 kids on the street, and I just went mad. As far as I was aware Bradley was having a good time with a few friends. I told Bradley not to put it on Facebook and to tell his friends not to, so it wasn’t him. If it wasn’t for Facebook and BBM it wouldn’t have got out so quickly or to so many people. Lucky nothing valuable was stolen as I had locked the bedrooms. At 16, they all think they should drink as much as they can as quickly as they can and that’s where it started going wrong."
A neighbor said: "There must have been 100 to 150 of them out there drunk, running around, jumping off cars, setting off alarms and throwing cans."
A spokesman for Dorset police explained: "Everybody had moved on or had been arrested within 25 minutes. Officers then remained in the area for a period of time to provide reassurance to residents. A 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy were arrested for being drunk and disorderly."