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Author Topic:   Hockey fans riot in streets

Posts: 1309
Registered: May 2000

posted 04-08-2002 05:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for flyerguyakatalkabout     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Posted on Mon, Apr. 08, 2002

UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA: Hockey fans riot in streets
Pioneer Press

For more than six hours this weekend after the Gophers hockey team won its first national title in 23 years, a growing mob of students smashed street lamps, jumped on passing cars, and torched furniture in a celebration-turned-rampage.

The rioters, estimated between several hundred and more than 1,000, poured into the streets at the University of Minnesota, hurling full beer bottles and cans, rocks and insults at officers in riot gear who used tear gas to try to quell the crowd.

In the end, the only injury was to a police officer whose shoulder was hurt by a flying object. Police made 25 arrests. The cost of the damage, including broken windows on homes, businesses and vehicles, had not been tallied by late Sunday.

Using cell phones, students called friends to campus to "join the fun" and followed a Minnesota State Patrol helicopter's spotlight to hotspots.

"We're celebrating," said freshman Emily Tinkham. "We're not doing anything wrong."


Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson, who took a rock to the foot during the weekend's outbursts, said officers allowed the excited fans to march and cheer in the streets. But when the "youthful exuberance" spun out of control, police here were not about to allow a repeat of what happened at the University of Maryland. After March 30's semifinal and last Monday's NCAA basketball championship victory, Terrapin fans took their celebrations to the streets of College Park, Md., looting stores, burning cars and injuring a fan who lost vision in an eye.

Sports sociologist Merrill J. Melnick calls this "indecent emotional exposure" by alcohol-fueled fans whose celebratory waltz in the streets becomes antisocial, destructive behavior.

"This is behavior off the tracks. Whatever parameters would be in effect, laws of decorum, a certain sense of civility they're pushed aside in this act of excessive exuberance," said Melnick, who teaches "Sports Spectating in the United States" at the State University of New York at Brockport and co-authored the book "Sports Fans: The Psychology and Social Impact of Spectators." Three chapters discuss fan misbehavior.

The mob mentality, a type of contagion combined with the sense that there's safety, if not anonymity, in numbers, can make the situation worse, said Melnick.

The presence of police and the media can often be provocative to fans who may feel at once threatened and called on to perform.


Gophers fans clearly hadn't planned an uprising this weekend. The chaos began just before 10 p.m. and gathered steam after 11 p.m.

About 200 students came together near Northrop Memorial Auditorium to celebrate. Another group worked its way around Dinkytown. Yet another band amassed near University and 15th avenues, near the west end of fraternity row.

"This is just a celebration of us winning. A little unity, a little spirit," said sophomore Mark Abdel as his fellow students began facing down cops on University Avenue. "Everybody's having a great time."

Then someone on the street threw a bottle at police. "S-, don't do that," Abdel said. As those in the street screamed for observers to join them and more bottles were hurled at police, the officers began to move toward the rowdy crowd.

By 3:30 a.m., several thousand students had gathered around a bonfire of trash bins, garbage and furniture in the middle of University Avenue. By 4:30 a.m., things had finally calmed down. And by 5 a.m., the police finally felt it was safe enough to leave. In all, about 50 Minneapolis police officers responded to the chaos; the number of university police officers on the scene was not available.

Even though St. Paul hosted the championship hockey tournament, police reported few problems in or around the Xcel Energy Center.

As cleanup of the Dinkytown area where trash, shattered glass and overturned newspaper boxes littered the area began Sunday afternoon, university officials considered what's next. Officials are trying to determine whether the student fans who were arrested in the chaos might have violated the student code of conduct, said university spokeswoman Amy Phenix.

Street revelry gets out of hand
Kavita Kumar
Star Tribune

Published Apr 8, 2002
All-night parties celebrating the University of Minnesota's victory over Maine in men's hockey spilled into the streets in and around Minneapolis' Dinkytown and turned destructive Saturday night and into Sunday as revelers set fires in the street and launched beer bottles at police officers.

The roving crowds, described by police as riotous mobs, stalled traffic, overturned large trash bins and paper stands and burned couches and Dumpsters at several locations from about 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. The group swelled to more than 600 people at times, police said.

Police arrested a reveler.

Richard Tsong-Taatarii
Star Tribune
"These were supposed to be celebrators," Inspector Rich Stanek of the Minneapolis Police Department said Sunday. "Heck, their team won, they didn't lose."

More than 75 Minneapolis police officers and more than 25 state troopers and University of Minnesota police officers repeatedly tried to disperse the crowds and to keep them off the streets, only to have them regroup.

Dressed in riot gear, police used chemical irritants and arrested 35 to 40 people, mostly on suspicion of disorderly conduct, Stanek said. Some were arrested on suspicion of rioting, a felony. By Sunday afternoon, most had been released, police said.

Stanek said no damage was done to businesses in the commercial district. He attributed the disturbance to a mix of heavy drinking, large groups of people, mild weather and elation about the game, which ended a good three hours before bars closed.

Fans set shirts afire.

Thomas Whisenand
Minnesota Daily
"It was a mob mentality," Stanek said. "This was a riot."

Still, there were many who tried to stop the bottle-throwing and destruction, he said.

"To the students' credit, there were many of them who clapped and praised the officers," Stanek said, adding that some people apologized to the police for others' behavior. "They were trying to police themselves, which was really encouraging."

Shortly after the game ended in St. Paul about 9:30 p.m., crowds began gathering outside of campus bars around Williams and Mariucci arenas and fraternity row along University Avenue SE.

Reveler swings from a traffic light

Richard Tsong-Taatarii
Star Tribune
Police received their first call about a rowdy crowd of bottle-throwing people, many of them intoxicated, about 9:45 p.m.

The crowd at 19th and University avenues SE. moved west between SE. 4th St. and University Av. SE., Stanek said.

"At a couple of different points, they were burning tires, couches, Dumpsters -- anything they could find," Stanek said. "They were setting fire in the streets."

Some people jumped on the hoods of squad cars as a State Patrol helicopter with a search light hovered overhead. Some shot off fireworks. The windows of about four squad cars were broken, Stanek said.

Flames from one fire reached 40 to 50 feet, creating concerns about damage to power lines. Ambulances stood by, but no serious injuries were reported.

Stanek said some people in the crowd assaulted each other. Other witnesses observed men and women exposing themselves.

About four officers were treated for minor injuries.They had been hit on the hands and neck by bottles, rocks and chunks of concrete, Stanek said.

As officers moved the crowd down the streets, firefighters put out the fires.

A morning mess

By 5 a.m. Sunday, police had taken control of the area. Officers stayed in the area until about 8 a.m.

In the morning, front-end loaders moved large pieces of debris blocking streets. Street sweepers cleaned up most of the broken bottles and other items that littered the streets.

Sunday afternoon, trash containers on fraternity row still reeked of smoke. Part of a half-ripped fence lay on the ground. Some bottles and debris remained.

Charolette Baierl and Holly Wautier, both first-year students at the university, were walking around campus taking pictures of the aftermath Sunday afternoon.

They had been walking to their dormitories Saturday night when they ran into the rowdy crowds.

Baierl, who said police sprayed chemical irritant at her, said people were swearing and trying to incite the police.

"People there were looking for a fight," she said. "I would have been an angry police officer last night."

Wautier said the crowd didn't appear to be violent. "It seemed like everyone wanted to celebrate, but it just went too far."

Jason Smishek, another witness, said he thought that police acted conservatively, trying not to incite the crowd, but that they were too liberal with chemical irritants.

The Gophers hockey players had returned to Dinkytown late Saturday to celebrate when they found the streets mobbed.

"We had to fight our way through campus," senior forward Erik Wendell said. "It was really tough to get through. We were trying to avoid the areas where the police were. It was unbelievable to see all those people."

After 18 years of service in the department, Lt. Stanek said the events of the night before were a first for him.

"It was a long night," he said. "I've seen a lot of things. It was an eye-opening experience."

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posted 04-08-2002 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jay-Dub   Click Here to Email Jay-Dub     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Yeah, we made the mistake of trying to take University Avenue back to our practice space after the show on Saturday. It wasn't happening - WAAAY too many people clogging the streets. There were at least 40-50 squad cars on 4th St. as well.


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posted 04-08-2002 11:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for mud   Click Here to Email mud     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
When I went to the U., I always wanted to burn down Fraternity Row. If the sports teams keep winning, maybe the jocks will do it for us...GO GOPHERS!

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posted 04-08-2002 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for 2fisted   Click Here to Email 2fisted     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote

[This message has been edited by 2fisted (edited 04-08-2002).]

[This message has been edited by 2fisted (edited 04-08-2002).]

[This message has been edited by 2fisted (edited 04-08-2002).]

[This message has been edited by 2fisted (edited 04-08-2002).]

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posted 04-08-2002 12:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Reno   Click Here to Email Reno     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Where are the Israeli security forces when you need 'em? Fuckin' jock assholes.

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posted 04-08-2002 12:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for zomzom   Click Here to Email zomzom     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote

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posted 04-08-2002 03:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for dadaduck   Click Here to Email dadaduck     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by zomzom:

I'd gone down to see some movies at the International Film Festival (talk about a clash of cultures!), and the film got out just as the mayhem was getting underway.

All these guys were running around grunting at each other like a bunch of fucking cave men. ("Aaaaaargh!!!!" -Smash!- "Woooo-hooo!" "Yeahhhh!" -Crash!- "U-UUUUghhh!") DUDE!

So far as I could tell, the police weren't really doing much. I would have liked to have seen a lot more ass-kicking. If this had been a political protest, the police would have teargassed the entire University.

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posted 04-09-2002 05:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for flyerguyakatalkabout     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote

Chief ordered police to disperse hockey crowd
Chris Graves and Mary Jane Smetanka
Star Tribune

Published Apr 9, 2002
After hours of trying to contain rowdy people celebrating the University of Minnesota's national hockey championship Saturday, Minneapolis Police Chief Robert Olson told his officers to disperse the crowd that had built a "monstrous fire," he said Monday.

But some university students who were arrested, parents and the editor of the student newspaper question the level of force police used and who officers targeted.

Olson said he monitored the revelry, hoping students would tire and go home. "But it was close to 3 a.m. and then the fire started getting bigger . . . the smoke was really nasty," he said. "We said: 'That's it. We've got to stop this.' "

While he praised revelers who obeyed the laws and his officers, whom he said showed restraint, university officials considered discipline for students involved in the violence.

While 1,000 or more people took to the streets near the university's Minneapolis campus to celebrate the Gophers' overtime victory, Olson said, a core group of between 150 and 200 revelers was responsible for damaging property, setting fires and lobbing bottles and rocks at officers. The largest fire was set near University Av. SE. and 16th Av.

Hennepin County jail records indicate that 24 people were arrested. Five were being held Monday on suspicion of riot while charges were considered. Nineteen were issued tickets on charges of disorderly conduct. Minneapolis police said a 17-year-old Minneapolis boy was also cited with disorderly conduct.

Six Minneapolis officers were slightly injured, six squad cars and at least 50 other vehicles were damaged, windows were broken, street signs pulled down and trash containers toppled by a roving mob that moved through campus, Dinkytown and fraternity row.

University officials say they may suspend or expel students involved in the violence.

Robert Jones, university vice president for campus life, said Monday that school officials are checking police records against school files to see whether any of the 25 people arrested by Minneapolis police are students. Although officials said it is unclear how many are students, 14 of those arrested were listed as students in this year's university directory.

Two parents of those arrested said they believed Minneapolis police used excessive force, and the editor of the student newspaper said he has called for a meeting with Olson and Mayor R.T. Rybak to discuss how four of his staff workers were treated by police.

Mike Wereschagin, editor of the Minnesota Daily, said one reporter and three photographers were singled out and sprayed with a chemical irritant.

"Journalists were being targeted as if [they had] thrown a bottle at police officers," he said. "They were taking pictures and notes, talking to people; just doing their jobs. And they were not allowed to continue to do their jobs. My concern is the fact they were stopped from doing their jobs by police officers."

As of mid-day Monday, no one had filed a formal complaint with Minneapolis police alleging excessive force by officers. But Olson said that those who believe they were treated unfairly should call the department's internal affairs division.

Josh Boyum, 20, of Rochester, said that he walked with university friends toward the celebration.

He said that the closer they got to Dinkytown, the more he saw people antagonizing officers and throwing things. As they headed back toward a friend's dormitory, they stopped to listen to a group singing the Minnesota Rouser. When others began running from police, he ran, too, he said. Police stopped him.

"I told them I was trying to cooperate," he said. "They threw me up against the wall and tackled me. I saw a kid in front of me get maced while he was already in handcuffs."

Olson said that arrests in such situations often look bad.

"When you are in the middle of a riot situation involving assault, arson and destruction of property, it is never a pretty sight," he said. "And arrests . . . in those situations, they are rough, there is no question about it."

At least six students had contacted the University Student Legal Service to set up appointments with attorneys from the university's Office of Student Affairs, attorney Luis Bartolomei said.

"We are treating these cases as our highest priority right now," he said.

It was too early for him to know all of the circumstances surrounding the inquiries, Bartolomei said, but he said he hoped prosecutors would carefully consider what charges to file.

"There is a big difference between a misdemeanor disorderly conduct and a riot charge, which is a felony," he said. "A felony might make them virtually unemployable. So what's the use of coming to college?"

Bartolomei said that he hoped any students charged with a crime who need representation or advice would call the Legal Service office, which is afforded them through student fees.

The Hennepin County attorney has until noon today to decide whether it will issue felony-level charges against the five students who remained jailed Monday or refer the cases to the Minneapolis city attorney's office for possible misdemeanor charges.

Olson backed off Monday on describing Saturday and Sunday's events as a riot: "I would call it a very large disturbance with a lot of riotous individuals within it."

Olson declined to discuss the preparedness of University of Minnesota police, but Inspector Rich Stanek said he did not think the university force adequately planned for the aftermath of the hockey victory.

He also said that Minneapolis police didn't expect what happened Saturday night. "We didn't anticipate a riot," he said. "I didn't anticipate bonfires, throwing rocks and bottles. We anticipated a busier than average Saturday night, and we planned for that plus."

Eleven officers from the university force -- about 25 percent of the school's police force -- were on duty Saturday night and Sunday morning, said University Police Chief George Aylward, who worked Saturday night.

"You could always do something different next time . . . but I think it worked out relatively well," he said. "We safeguarded property and people. . . . If the question is did we do what we should have done, we did."

Aylward said many students came up to him Saturday to apologize for what was happening and said they were embarrassed by the violence.

Dan Kelly, president of the Minnesota Student Association, the student government group at the university, said the damage was done by a minority of the revelers. "The majority of students celebrated responsibly," he said.

Students who are charged could face penalties under the school's student conduct code that range from required community service to suspension or expulsion, Jones said. "This type of violence and uncivil behavior will not be tolerated by the university community," he said.

A cost estimate on damage to university property should be available this week, but Jones said the amount would not be "astronomical."

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posted 04-09-2002 10:15 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for RULE#MF2   Click Here to Email RULE#MF2     Edit/Delete Message Reply w/Quote
stupid fratboys and jocks. I used to laugh to myself , when I went to the U, at those whose daddy's had to buy them some friends. yeah, we won a hockey game, lets cause a riot!

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