Arizona Riots: Unhappy Students Pepper-Sprayed After NCAA Loss

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 11:01 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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University of Arizona students erupted into a riot during the March Madness NCAA tournament after their team lost 64-63 to Wisconsin, prompting police to use pepper canisters to disperse the unlawful crowd.

Of the several hundred that gathered on University Boulevard in downtown Tucson, fifteen people were arrested for resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and unlawful assembly, Fox News reports.

"The majority of the crowd did not respond to the dispersal order and began throwing beer bottles, beer cans and firecrackers at the officers," said Tucson police Sgt. Pete Dugan. "Several of the firecrackers rolled underneath a patrol vehicle that was deployed with the Mobile Field Force Units."

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The official report said no officers or civilians were injured and the only damage reported was a downed street sign, however a video surfaced on YouTube showing one police officer blindsiding a woman, shoving her into a metal bench. It is not clear if she sustained injuries, but in the video it appears she had not provoked the officer.

Also of interest was an Instagram photo that ignited social media, in which two girls are shown taking a selfie together with the riot in the background.

One witness, David Kitaeff, said that the gathering turned ugly when people in the crowd began throwing beer bottles at the police officers and when "people got in cops' faces." Police resorted to pepper canisters after repeated attempts using the PA and social media asking people to disburse.

The names of those arrested will be turned over to the Dean of Students to determine any university code of conduct violations and potential punishments.

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