Police use tear gas to handle irate Indiana crowd

Authorities also rein in Maryland celebrations

By Kimberly Hefling

Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Basketball fans upset by Indiana's loss to Maryland in the NCAA championship torched couches, toppled street signs and threw beer bottles at officers, prompting them to clear out a crowd with tear gas.

As the acrid gas spread, hundreds of students and fans fled from an intersection near the edge of the Indiana University campus about 1:30 a.m., with police arresting about 30 people.


"When students started getting pelted with bottles that's when we decided to move and disperse the crowd," Capt. Mike Deikhoff of Bloomington Police said. "If the crowd hadn't started throwing beer bottles and setting fires we wouldn't have had to act."

The violence came after some students and fans turned bitter following Indiana's 64-52 loss to Maryland late Monday.

In Maryland, students lit bonfires, threw bottles and shot off fireworks in celebration of their team's victory.

Police on horseback pushed thousands of revelers off the streets early today, trying to rein in a victory celebration by fans ecstatic over the school's first national basketball championship.

Despite an increased police presence Monday, the crowd turned riotous, breaking the window of bicycle shop, throwing bottles and other objects at police and lighting bonfires.

The manager of the bicycle shop was hit in the face while trying to protect his store.

His condition was not immediately known.

Several officers suffered minor injuries when they were struck by bottles and other objects that were thrown at them, said Lt. Bud Frank, a state police spokesman.


About 10 people were arrested in College Park, police said.

In Bloomington, several students and a few officers were taken to hospitals with minor injuries after they were hit by bottles, Deikhoff said.

About 30 students were arrested on charges ranging from public intoxication, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, he said.

What To Read Next
Get Local