Celebration, 35 arrests, on UConn campus

Connecticut State Police use dogs to move clear students from an area they had gathered to celebrate their team's 60-54 victory over Kentucky in the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game, Monday, April 7, 2014, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

STORRS, Conn. (WTNH) — A lot of celebration and excitement on the UConn campus in Storrs, and nearly three dozen arrests, after the Huskies national championship win over Kentucky.

Thousands of fans watched the game in Gampel Pavilion, and when the game ended the pack of fans bolted out onto campus to let their blue pride show.

“Four championships in 15 years,” an excited Talha Wasem boasted. “Everyone doubted us; CBS, ESPN, my cousin, now you see. Yeah, they can’t stop us! Whew!!!”

“I walk through this school with pride,” said Chelsea Perry, UConn freshman.

“I was here when they won in 2011. There are just no words to describe it,” said Conor O’Brien, UConn alum.

UConn fans celebrate at Gampel Pavilion, April 7, 2014.
UConn fans celebrate at Gampel Pavilion, April 7, 2014.

Seconds after the UConn men were declared the 2014 NCAA champions, the husky celebration was in full force on the school’s campus in Storrs.

“There was music playing. Everyone going wild, just having a great time,” said O’Brien.

“I was so stoked. Like we won,” said Perry.

Given the size of the crowd, precautions were taken.

“We’ve been seeing a lot of state troopers . A lot of fire department. A lot of UConn police,” said Alex Deangelo, Uconn fan.

While most students were well-behaved a few others were not and were taken away by police who were on hand to make sure the celebration didn’t get out of hand.

“People were just having fun. It was the stupid people that try to ruin it for everyone. But it seemed like everyone was enjoying it. Being responsible. Just an awesome time,” said O’Brien.

There was damage at the student union, including overturned tables and debris. A light post was taken down. The IT building was also broken into and a window was shattered. Several people were taken away in handcuffs and police had to use dogs to disperse the crowds shortly after midnight.

But for most students it was a time to just enjoy the big win and show their UConn pride.

UConn Police said they have made 35 arrests as of 9 a.m., and 20 of them are UConn students. Most of those arrested face charges of breach of peace, interfering with a police officer, possession of alcohol by a minor and criminal trespass.

But the arrests may not stop there. UConn police say they’ll review the campus security cameras to see if anyone else can be caught committing a crime.

“We have charged at least one person with inciting a riot,” UConn spokesman Tom Breen said in a statement.

“By far, most of our students have conducted themselves safely and responsibly,” Chief Barbara O’Connor said in a statement. “UConn Police will be extensively using security camera footage during our investigations to ensure that offenders are identified and held accountable, to the fullest extent of the law.”

There were a few fires reported as well, and those were dealt with by the UConn Fire Department and crews from surrounding towns. Police had to break up the crowds early Tuesday morning.

The post-game damage wasn’t limited to Storrs. In Lexington, Kentucky, police fired tear gas on rowdy Kentucky fans. 31 people were arrested, 23 people were injured, mostly minor, and 19 couches were set on fire.

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