Lexington police plan for Monday basketball crowds

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Police said Sunday that they are satisfied with their work to control the crowds that spilled onto the street after the University of Kentucky defeated crosstown rival Louisville, despite the images of rowdy revelers burning couches.

So while authorities are evaluating how things went as they prepare for the possibility of more celebrations ahead of Monday night’s Final Four Championship game, they aren’t anticipating big changes to their plans.

Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said there were less than 20 people arrested, no serious injuries and no serious property damage. She said nothing happened that wasn’t anticipated and that police were “very pleased.”

“I think we did pretty good, all things considered,” she said.

She said the department would meet Sunday afternoon to evaluate things and determine whether any adjustments are needed Monday, when the Wildcats play in the championship.

Police had braced for the possibility of post-game violence and resorted to pepper spray, though large amounts weren’t needed before they ultimately began dispersing the throngs, Roberts said.

She said 150 officers deployed on the streets at one point to quell what she called “a very dangerous situation” with the fires and violence that dragged on for hours.

The scene was similar in 1998 when Kentucky won the national championship game. That year, 300 officers in full riot gear lined downtown streets as a mob of nearly 15,000 fans celebrated.

Police made 10 arrests, and 25 people were treated for minor injuries.

Two years prior to that, though, chaos ensued following Kentucky’s championship game _ officers were pelted with beer bottles, and a television news crew’s van was overturned.

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