At Least 57 Fires, 15 Arrests During East Lansing ‘Disturbances’

Posted at 12:04 PM, Dec 09, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-09 17:10:20-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. – New numbers are beginning to come in after revelers set fires early Sunday in East Lansing following the Michigan State University Spartans’ win over the Ohio State University Buckeyes.

Following the win which sends the Spartans to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. for the national championship, revelers began causing some problems.  Police in riot gear were called in after fires were set, trees toppled and at least one car was turned over.

According to The State News which cites a report from East Lansing Police, 57 fires were set throughout the city and at least 15 arrests were made.  “The weekend report indicates 12 MSU students were arrested, as well as one MSU alumnus and two others with unknown affiliation to the university,” stated an article in The State News.

“Behavior like this is unacceptable in the East Lansing-MSU community. In addition to being extremely dangerous and costly, it takes vital emergency resources away from others in need,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas. “We understand individuals’ desire to celebrate, but the events of Saturday night did nothing more than overshadow and take away from a great Spartan victory. We will work to charge the individuals involved in this incident to the fullest extent of the law.”

Lahanas also said in the statement, “Any student identified as taking part in setting or fueling fires will be subject to the MSU student judicial process, regardless of any criminal charges being filed,” said Kent Cassella, MSU spokesman. “If a student is found in violation, he or she faces sanctions ranging from warning to dismissal. A vast majority of those celebrating after the game did so peacefully. Those that disregarded the safety of others and destroyed property will not be tolerated.”

Over the weekend, police told reporters at the scene they were called out to investigate a riot, but the department said Sunday it is classifying the cases as disturbances.

Police said they would actively pursue any charges against any person involved in the incident.