Originally created 03/25/01

Penn State fans turn violent after loss

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Fans hurled firecrackers, tossed bottles from balconies and tried to topple lampposts after Penn State's loss in the NCAA tournament.

With several thousand people jamming the streets, 20 people - 14 of them Penn State students - were arrested early Saturday on public drunkenness and other charges in the East Beaver Street area, police said.

Police used pepper spray to try to move the crowd out of the street following the 84-72 loss to Temple on Friday night in Atlanta in the South Regional.

Emergency medical personnel responded to a report of a woman who needed stitches about 1 a.m. and police said at last two officers were struck in the head with beer bottles.

People started throwing bottles from the balconies of apartments overlooking the street shortly after midnight and the crowd in the street eventually grew to about 4,000, police estimated. It took officers until about 3:30 a.m. to disperse the crowds.

Those arrested Saturday were jailed at the Centre County Prison on charges including public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, failure to disperse and criminal mischief.

By midday, nearly all had been freed on bail ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, jail officials said. One person remained in custody and was expected to be out on bail Saturday night.

Police Chief Tom King said the disturbance was less destructive than the violence that erupted in July and at an earlier disturbance in 1998, both during an annual arts festival.


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