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Arizona Wildcats Fans Riot After Losing to Wisconsin

April 01
22:41 2014

The smell of pepper spray was in the air in Tucson Saturday night as Arizona Wildcats fans went on the rampage and rioted after losing to the Wisconsin Badgers.

Tucson RiotIt was real March Madness as rowdy crowds threw bottles, beer cans and firecrackers at officers after the overtime loss. Police in riot gear responded with pepper ball rounds and aerosol canisters. The police won. Fifteen people were arrested. Three of the arrested sustained minor injuries. No police officers were injured. One street sign was knocked down. No other property damage was reported.

Wisconsin beat Arizona 64-63 on Saturday, earning a spot in the Final Four of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. The Final Four games will be played on Saturday, April 5.

Official Statement from Tucson Police

Here’s the official statement from the City of Tucson Police Department:

On March 29, 2014, Tucson Police Officers and University of Arizona Police Officers deployed to Main Gate Square on University Boulevard in preparation of large crowds gathering to watch the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Officers were staged along University Boulevard before and during the game to show a police presence in the area.

At the conclusion of the game hundreds of people exited the various establishments and filled University Boulevard. The crowds began to congregate along the Boulevard but appeared to be calm after the Arizona Wildcats lost a close game to the Wisconsin Badgers. As the crowd grew larger police began asking individuals to start moving out of the streets, however the crowd did not respond. Mobile Field Force Units were then deployed at Tyndall Avenue and University Boulevard with their protective equipment. A dispersal order was given to the crowd numerous times in both English and Spanish, telling the crowd that the Tucson Police Department had declared their gathering to be an unlawful assembly and to disperse from the area immediately.

The majority of the crowd did not respond to the dispersal order and began throwing beer bottles, beer cans and firecrackers at the officers. Several of the firecrackers rolled underneath a patrol vehicle that was deployed with the
Mobile Field Force Units. As the crowd began to move closer to the officers, pepper ball rounds were used in an attempt to disperse the crowd. Several individuals continued to advance at the officers and were taken into custody.

At the end of the night a total of 15 misdemeanor arrests were made. 14 of the individuals were cited and released, while one was booked into the Pima County Jail. The arrests included charges such as Unlawful Assembly, Resisting Arrest
and Disorderly Conduct. The names of the arrested individuals will be given to the Dean of Students to determine if any of them are currently enrolled at the University. Three of those arrested sustained minor injuries from the incident.

Officers used a variety of means to deal with the unruly crowd. Those items included two Arwenn Rounds, four Foam Baton Rounds, nine OC Vapor Aerosol Canisters and approximately 200 individual Pepper Ball Rounds.

At this time it appears no officers were injured during the incident and the only damage reported was a street sign that had been knocked over. The information gathered and released is only preliminary information. As the circumstances of this incident unfold, additional details will be released.”

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