More Than 50 Arrested in Riot Near Michigan State University

Published: April 7, 2008

EAST LANSING, Mich. – According to police, 13 rounds of tear gas were used in the early morning of April 6 to break up a party near Michigan State University (MSU) of around 3,000 to 4,000 people.

Police reported 52 people being arrested and an additional 48 being ticketed for other offenses. More charges are expected after authorities review the video footage taken at the scene.

East Lansing police Chief Tom Wibert said nearly all of the 80 officers on the scene reported being struck by a flying object, as bottles and cans were being pelted at officers throughout the evening. Windows were smashed on two police cars, and four small fires were reported during the incident.

Initially, police tried to move the crowd out of the area through repeated loudspeaker warnings and smoking munitions. When those tactics were ignored, police fired tear gas around 2 a.m. The crowd then separated an hour later.

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Officials said 28 of the people arrested were students from MSU. Those students, along with the others arrested, might face charges ranging from disorderly conduct to inciting a riot.

School officials and the city warned students to stay away from the event after it had been promoted on the social networking site Facebook.

In 2005, a similar incident occurred after MSU’s basketball team lost in the Final Four of the NCAA basketball tournament. During that time, 42 individuals were arrested and damage was estimated at $8,275.

In 1999, police arrested 132 people, including 71 MSU students for vandalizing property after the basketball team lost in the NCAA championship. There was $500,000 worth of damage.

The damage to the property of the current brawl is unknown; however, police don’t believe the incident was connected to the Final Four basketball game.

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