Mega parties thrown by University of Tampa students draw the ire of West Tampa neighbors

Up to 700 people show up to Tampa House parties

TAMPA - Dr. Lois Miles and Ruth McNair have been neighbors for decades in a section of West Tampa with tidy homes and groomed lawns.

"It's fairly quiet, until now," lamented Miles.

The calm was shattered with epic house parties that started right about the time students returned to class at the University of Tampa, which is less than a mile away.

"Hundreds of them line our streets and walk in groups of 40 or 50 to a particular house," said Miles.

Before one such party, a student tried to smooth things over with Ruth.

"He came with a bouquet of flowers, beautiful flowers.  He wanted to give these to me to let me know he's having a party," said McNair.

Both Miles and McNair testified to the Tampa City Council Thursday about their ordeal.  Council member Frank Reddick said he was in contact with the University and Tampa Police.

At one of several homes identified as hosting mammoth parties of up to 700 people, students Dan Baddeley and Matt Castriotta admit they've had problems with overflowing crowds, and noise and trash, but claim they've got it under control.

"We ID people.  We have security in place.  We make sure things stay as clean as possible.  There are other houses doing it, but I think we're the only ones to do it right.

Showing us the record of police calls to the houses in question, Laura McElroy of the Tampa Police Department said they could make arrests if complaints continue, though it's not their first choice.

"We'd rather not arrest University students If we can get them to be a better neighbor, to make a better choice by working with the University than that's a win-win for everybody" said McElroy.

Turns out Dan Baddeley was the one who brought flowers to Ruth McNair. But as long as he throws mega-parties down the street, Ruth won't be impressed.  

"No, flowers are not going to get it." 

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