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Police in Ky. assess handling of post-game mayhem
A day after raucous celebrations led to more than two dozen arrests, police said Sunday that they are ready to control crowds near the University of Kentucky's campus when the Wildcats play Kansas for the national championship.
Lexington city police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts told The Associated Press on Sunday that several hundred officers will be out in force on Monday to help keep order.
“We’re prepared,” she said. “We expect a majority of people to obey the law.”
Police plan a few adjustments from Saturday, when thousands of fans spilled onto streets after Kentucky defeated cross-state rival Louisville in New Orleans. Fans torched couches and overturned a car before setting it ablaze.
Roberts said police did a good job of getting rowdy fans under control. Officers arrested 27 people on minor charges such as disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication.
Police who had braced for the possibility of post-game violence resorted to pepper spray, though large amounts weren’t needed before officers ultimately began dispersing the throngs.
He said firefighters were dispatched to 50 nuisance blazes near the Lexington campus on Saturday night, which included the car, couches and campfires that were lit in the middle of the street.
He said most students who were out celebrating abided by the law and were helpful when “a few bad apples” caused problems _ such as throwing beer bottles at police as they tried to break up the crowd.
Roberts said there were no serious injuries nor any major property damage and nothing occurred that police hadn’t anticipated.
“I think we did pretty good, all things considered,” she said.
Kentucky players and coach John Calipari expressed shock and disappointment over their fans’ actions, but acknowledged that passion for the team can run high.
“Our fans are real crazy about us. If we win tomorrow, it’ll be even more crazy,” said guard Doron Lamb.
Guard Darius Miller said it looked “pretty crazy” from the videos he received on his cell phone.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” he said. “Hopefully everyone makes it out OK.”
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