by Steve Annear | October 31, 2013 10:25 am
Pleas from the administration at UMass Amherst weren’t enough to keep students from doing what they always do when a sports team wins a championship: “riot.”
According to reports, 15 people were arrested at the UMass campus following the Red Sox World Series win late Wednesday night. Fourteen of those arrested were students, according to police, who were charged with “failing to disperse.”
Hoping to keep students from getting out of hand after Game 6, the school’s Student Government Association and Student Affairs and Campus Life, hosted a night of programming with free food, an inflatable screen broadcasting the game, and other activities for more than 3,000 students.
“You can sing, cheer, and enjoy other responsible forms of celebrating. You can do activities that are legal and that do not disturb the comfort and peace of others while they are in their homes. If you do not violate anyone’s constitutional rights or property, you will be fine. Your right to celebrate ends where the rights of others and the law begin,” according to a statement from the school, ahead of the game.
School officials also sent out Tweets to try and remind the UMass community that so-called “rioting” is frowned upon. “Your actions tonight have consequences. If you engage in reckless crowd behavior, you can be arrested,” officials warned students prior to the game. They later told students to “Think before you jeopardize your future,” as the crowds swelled.
But their efforts were ignored as students flooded the Southwest concourse, where the school tried to host the celebration in an effort to avoid raucous behavior that occurred in the past following major sporting events.
Local blog “Only in Amherst” described the scene, and how it started to unfold:
… Once again a throng of Umass students got a tad out of control, refused to comply with orders to disperse and were then convinced to go back to their dorms by a combined assault of horses, dogs, a sound truck issuing high pitched alien like noise and a small army of police — some looking like Darth Vader in their riot gear.
The large crowds quickly led to officers resorting to shooting smoke bombs to disperse the crowd as well as “pepper bullets.”
These are the grenades they are throwing at students. Close up picture. At umass. http://t.co/6s2ukqVDR7
— Paul Weiskel (@PWeiskel08) October 31, 2013
Despite some reports on Twitter, police said they did not use rubber bullets or tear gas to clear students out of the public spaces, where people were hanging from trees and refusing to go back to their dorms. “There has been no tear gas deployed at UMass Amherst. There are no rubber bullets in use. Reports stating otherwise are false,” the University said in a Tweet. “Smoke and pepper balls were used. No tear gas. No rubber bullets. Reports stating otherwise are false.”
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