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Bouncer Shot In ‘Tamer’ Freaknik

Sun., April 20, 1997

Thousands of college students in town for the spring break festival Freaknik roamed the streets Saturday after a bouncer was shot and two people were hurt in a car accident during all-night partying.

Randall Webber, 30, was wounded in a squabble outside a nightclub over a parking space. He was hospitalized in stable condition and three North Carolina men were arrested, bringing the number of arrests to 101 since students began flocking into town Thursday.

Two people were injured when a speeding car tried to maneuver through traffic at a freeway exit. Two men were arrested for groping a woman, but police said it seemed like a tamer Freaknik this year.

The city took a friendlier approach to the party that attracts thousands of black college students. Students were met by a “friendship force” handing them brochures, instead of the police roadblocks that confronted them last year.

Police had no crowd estimate yet.

Freaknik took form in 1982, when students at Spelman and Morris Brown colleges had a picnic for about 65 students during spring break. The group dubbed the picnic “Freaknik” after a popular dance in the 1970s known as the “freak.”

By noon Saturday, several downtown streets were blocked with cars. Jabdul Carter clicked his camera at every girl who passed by.

“The women - that’s what this is all about,” said Carter, a sophomore from Jackson State University in Mississippi. “Freaknik is a black man’s heaven. I’ll come back every year. I didn’t even know about the events.”


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