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Overcapacity frat party stirs police response in City of Tonawanda

City of Tonawanda police were summoned late Saturday night to control an overcapacity fraternity party, authorities said.

Officers were called at about 10 p.m. to the former American Legion Post 264 building at 60 Main St., where a non-alcohol party was being hosted by a SUNY Buffalo State fraternity, city Police Capt. Fredric F. Foels said.

A city fire marshal determined that the crowd was over the building’s capacity, while a police lieutenant told Foels he could feel the floor of the 1909 building shaking.

“It was a potential powder keg,” Foels said, noting that more than 1,000 tickets were believed to have been sold. Hundreds of partygoers spilled onto Main as more were arriving, he said.

Main was closed to vehicular traffic for several hours until the crowd dispersed, Foels said. Officers’ shifts were extended by four hours, while North Tonawanda and Town of Tonawanda police were put on standby, he said. “It could’ve turned into something very ugly, but fortunately, it didn’t,” Foels said.

After police arrived, organizers of the party agreed to limit attendance to the building’s capacity. The party ended at 1:30 a.m., an hour earlier than scheduled, Foels said. No injuries or arrests were reported.

Tonawandas Post 264, American Legion, sold the 18,000-square-foot building this year to Fengxian Li for $100,000, according to Erie County real estate records. Foels said the building’s owner would be issued summonses for not having a certificate of occupancy.