MSU and East Lansing police departments are offering up to $20,000 in reward money for tips that could lead to the conviction of anyone involved in the chaotic aftermath of Saturday’s football game.
Police responded to a minimum of 57 fires throughout the city and made at least 15 arrests after MSU’s win in the Big Ten Championship game against Ohio State on Saturday, according to the East Lansing Police Department’s weekend report.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 people were in Cedar Village at the time, according to early estimates from police.
“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,” MSU spokesman Kent Cassella said in a statement. “If a student is found in violation, he or she faces sanctions ranging from warning to dismissal.”
In addition to setting couch fires, several participants uprooted trees, broke bottles in the crowd, set off fireworks and flipped the car of MSU fisheries and wildlife senior Steven Ripley.
Police are also looking to identify a fan who attended the Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis — a man holding up a sign reading “Burn the Couch,” according to the ELPD Facebook page.
“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,” East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas said in a statement. “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.”
The city plans to release more information on the total cost of the civil disturbance as it becomes available.
Anyone with information that could lead to the conviction of anyone involved can share their tips anonymously by calling 1-877-ELPD-TIP or sending an email to ELPDtips@elpolice.com.