Crime

Police identify 4 people in postgame riots, expect more to come

Four individuals have been identified and will be facing charges for their role in the raucous celebrations in downtown State College after the Nittany Lions’ win over the Wisconsin Badgers in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game.
Four individuals have been identified and will be facing charges for their role in the raucous celebrations in downtown State College after the Nittany Lions’ win over the Wisconsin Badgers in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game. For the Centre Daily Times

Four individuals have been identified and will be facing charges for their role in the riots in downtown State College after the Nittany Lions’ win over the Wisconsin Badgers in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game.

As of today, investigations into the incident have been assigned to two State College detectives, Lt. Keith Robb said Monday. The four individuals who have been identified will be facing felony charges, with all charges likely to be filed on a single date as the police did after the Ohio State game riot.

“We’re in the process of reviewing all the video that’s available — that has been sent to us, that’s online — and we’re making still of suspects that appear to be damaging property,” Robb said. “We’re going to be putting it out for identification, similar to what we did during the Ohio State riot.”

According to Robb, two lampposts were destroyed along South Garner Street and East Beaver Avenue, and police have identified a person tied to the destruction of both posts. Police are still waiting for the State College public works department to determine an estimate for replacement and labor costs.

Some vehicles on East Beaver were damaged as well, he said.

Police were initially deployed at about 11:40 p.m., he said, and used horses, a public address system, verbal commands and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. No injuries were reported for either police officers or the crowd.

“(This incident) was a little different (than Ohio State) because we actually had a chance to prepare,” Robb said. “Ohio State was so unexpected that we didn’t have the manpower or equipment to quell such an event.”

The oldest individual identified so far is 39 years old, he said. Three of the four identified are Penn State students.

Police are bringing the university’s office of student conduct into the investigation, he said. Students involved will be referred to student conduct so the office can take the necessary disciplinary action.

Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers commented on the event Monday as well, saying it is “unfortunate that despite our request that celebrations remain respectful and tempered, there was still a segment of our community that chose to needlessly tarnish the football team’s win with inappropriate and destructive behavior.

“We are obviously deeply disappointed in this senseless behavior and we continue to ask that everyone be mindful of their own actions that have the ability to damage our relationship with our broader community and with each other,” Powers said. “We are one community and Penn State remains committed to working in partnership with the State College community to hold responsible individuals accountable and to set clear expectations for all student behavior.”

Penn State administration had asked fans prior to the game to “not spoil the accomplishment by failing to respect our campus and the broader community.”

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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