STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Police in riot gear dispersed about 2,000 Penn State students who took to the streets after the ouster of football coach Joe Paterno. Crowds toppled a television news van and at least one photographer was pelted with a rock.
The students flooded downtown State College on Wednesday night for about three hours after Paterno and university president Graham Spanier were fired amid a growing furor linked to their handling of sex abuse allegations against a former assistant football coach.
Officers used pepper spray at times to control the crowd. Some students chanted ‘We want Joe! We want Joe!” Others kicked in the windows of a toppled news van.
About 100 police officers were downtown, many wearing helmets and carrying pepper spray. State College police said early Thursday they were still gathering information on any possible arrests.
Paterno had announced earlier in the day he planned to retire after the season and expressed remorse for not having done more after he learned of the sex assault allegations.
Centre County emergency dispatch said early Thursday that State College police would be addressing the protests later in the day.