NH college students riot after Red Sox World Series win
Police dealt with rioting students on three New Hampshire college campuses after the Red Sox won the World Series Wednesday night.
In Durham, police used pepper ball guns to disperse an unruly crowd of about 3,000 students after they set off fireworks, threw bottles at officers and jumped onto cars parked along Main Street, police said.
Several officers sustained minor cuts and several parked vehicles were damaged.
Police estimated an initial crowd of 1,000 people gathered downtown on Main Street to celebrate immediately following the win, but that the numbers quickly rose to about 3,000 people.
After about 20 minutes of celebrating, police asked the crowd to leave so the street could reopen.
As officers started to approach, police said the crowd began throwing bottles and cans at them. Officers, in turn, used pepper spray and pepper ball guns on the crowd.
Police said students were warned before the celebration that those arrested would be suspended on an interim basis and be subject to court action and university discipline.
Durham Administrator Todd Selig said police told the students three times to disperse, but they didn't.
Durham, University of New Hampshire, state and Strafford County law enforcement officials then began to use the pepper ball guns to disperse the crowd, but bottle throwing and fireworks continued.
It took over an hour for the crowd to clear.
Five people were arrested: Michael J. McGillicuddy, 20, of Rockport, Mass; Marisa A. Hardy, 21, of Nashua; Evan R. Orlando, 22, of Mansfield, Mass.; Justin Pimetel, 18, of Pelham, and Robert Lougee, 18, of Bow. Each is charged with a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct and are to appear on Dec. 5 in 7th Circuit Court, Dover District Division.
Following the gathering, shattered glass littered Main Street, Selig said, largely from broken bottles. As of about 2 a.m., public works crews were clearing the streets of debris to make Main Street passable.
Selig said the town had planned to have significantly more personnel on hand for Thursday evening in anticipation of the World Series going to seven games with the final game falling on Halloween.
Selig said although both UNH and Durham police had all hands on deck on Wednesday, the town could have used additional support.
Despite the use of the pepper ball guns, Selig said police showed "real restraint" and said he was proud of the local police department's professional and practiced efforts in managing the situation.
In Keene, a crowd of about 1,000 students gathered near the campus Student Center for the celebration, which police said quickly turned riotous with a car, belonging to a student, heavily damaged when it was flipped onto its side.
Police said students threw rocks, glass bottles and ice at officers and at each other. One woman was hit in the arm by a rock (the initial report that she was hit in the head was wrong, police said) and police then used pepper spray to try and get control of the crowd.
Officers kept the crowd from reaching Main Street, turning them back onto campus.
No one was arrested, but police said the investigation is continuing.
Students at Plymouth State University (PSU) also reportedly rioted although campus police declined to comment, referrring a reporter to the university's public relations department.
According to The Clock Online, the university newspaper, students set off fireworks, tore down two light posts and set couches on fire. The riot lasted about two to three hours until it was broken up by university and state police with police dogs.
Tim Kershner, chief of public relations for PSU, confirmed that lamp posts were knocked down and that couches were set on fire. He said police were out last night in anticipation of students celebrating a victory.
He said no one was arrested, although the police investigation is continuing.
email@example.com. New Hamsphire Union Leader staff reporter Pat Grossmith contributed to this report.