A crowd of approximately 5,000 to 10,000 college-aged men and women flocked to the 200 block of Beaver Avenue following Penn State’s 24-21 victory over Ohio State early Sunday morning.
While State College Police issued a number of citations during the riot, they said no one was taken into custody during the night. Rather, the majority of offenders will be receiving summons or fines in the mail related to criminal mischief.
Police said the difference between those receiving citations and those facing misdemeanor charges, is that the people facing charges were seen as “contributing to the ongoing disturbance.”
Street signs were ripped out of the ground and tossed in the air by the crowd, small fires in the street were started, several street lights were damaged and one vehicle was vandalized, according to a State College Police press release.
Between the 300 to 500 block of South Garner Street, three street signs were reported stolen or damaged on the corners of Fairmount Ave., Prospect Ave. and Hamilton Ave.
The majority of damages to the area are related to vandalism with street signs and lights, but one female reported a Miller Lite can being thrown through her apartment window and shattering the glass.
One male attempted to light a couch on fire, while another was caught lighting a chair on fire — both will be receiving summons in the mail. As for the male who tore down the stop sign at Beaver Ave. and Locust Lane, he faces misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct.
A minor victory of the night was when Police said they caught a male running a stolen stop sign into the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house located on 403 Locust Lane. When police arrived at residence, they spoke with the chapter president and were unable to identify the exact offender, so they “called it even” in exchange for the sign.
Several other arrests following the riot are pending, according to the release.
Police have only reported one injury from the night, which involved a male getting struck in the head by a glass bottle. He was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, according to the release.
However, police said several other individuals went to the emergency room for slight injuries sustained from the riot.
Their main method of defense by officers was the use of pepper spray foggers for crowd control. Police said the goal was to disperse the crowd with as little damage as possible to individuals — they described it as 30 to 45 minutes of pain rather than needing to get hands-on with individuals.
It took police approximately two hours to clear out the area with the assistance of Pennsylvania State Police and several local agencies, according to the release.
The events of Sunday morning were not a typical response to a football victory, but police said they always have a plan in place for a “large crowd and spontaneous celebration.” They said they typically monitor the score and watch the time on the clock to determine if they will need to enforce these methods following the game.
While the State College Department is typically smaller-scale with roughly 55 officers, police said one limiting factor in instances like these is they only deploy as many officers as they have gear to provide — this included riot helmets last night.
The main concern of borough crew cleanup was getting power back to the street lights lining the one side of Beaver Avenue. The borough plans to estimate the cost of damages later this week.
Anyone with pictures or videos of crimes committed during last night’s events are encouraged to send them to State College Police, according to the release.