KENT, Ohio -- The annual Halloween celebration in downtown Kent draws a huge crowd, including about a hundred law enforcement officers from different agencies who hope people are more likely to behave because of their presence alone.
"We try to maintain a presence. Usually during the evening, it's fun, it's interesting to see the costumes and people are having a good time. Inevitably, as time goes on and people get to drinking a bit more, some fights break out and some other things and people get into trouble," said Kent Police Lieutenant Jim Prusha.
William Bebb, of Diamond, Ohio, was among those celebrating this year.
Bebb, a sophomore at Kent State University, says he went with friends to see all of the costumes and have a good time.
"There were a lot of people there this year, crazy. I would say there were just people everywhere. Kind of wild," said Bebb.
Bebb says during the celebration, one of his friends got into an "altercation" with someone else in the crowd.
As he was helping his friend up, Bebb says another man, who he had never seen before, came from behind him and threw a punch to his jaw, hard enough to break his jaw in two places.
He says cell phone video shows the same man continuing to take swings at people afterward. The man then disappears into a crowd.
Lt. Prusha was among the officers who were at the celebration trying to maintain order.
"After a while we just broke up fight after fight and sometimes when we were looking at one, another might be going on behind us. We just cant catch everything," said Prusha
The injury left Bebb in a hospital for almost three days where he underwent surgery to repair his fractured jaw, which will have to remain wired shut for the next six weeks.
"I'm actually having to drop out of my classes this semester because I don't feel like I can successfully continue," said Bebb. "It's got a lot of repercussions. I mean, I'm an avid weightlifter. I can't do that anymore. I've already lost ten pounds since Saturday so there's a lot of negative repercussions that have come from this."
A still photo of the suspect from the cell phone video is now being distributed by police hoping someone will recognize him.
Lt. Prusha says 64 people were arrested during the celebration, most of them for underage consumption.
A few others were arrested for assault and other charges but nothing as serious as what happened to Bebb.
"With that severe of an injury it would be more like a felonious assault," said Prusha.
Anyone who recognizes the man seen throwing punches in the video is asked to call the Kent Police Department.