Immediately following MSU’s momentous victory against Ohio State, dozens of riots and furniture burnings broke out across the city.
The largest incident occurred in Cedar Village, where hundreds swarmed the streets, burning furniture and even taking the shirts of their backs in the frigid weather, chanting “we smell roses.”
Rioters tore trees from the ground and added them to the blaze, the flames billowing at least seven feet high.
Police, clearly unprepared, were hardly present at the scene. Only a handful of outnumbered officers stood by with little to do but watch as the neighborhood descended into chaos.
On River Street, hundreds of rioters tore trees from front lawns to fuel the blaze, the flames reaching at least 25 feet high as students chanted “go green, go white.”
By 12:30 a.m., hundreds of people flooded the streets and observed from their apartment balconies. Rioters shot firecrackers and broke bottles, dancing and chanting in a circle while others burned clothing on torches.
There were potentially hundreds of fires throughout the city, although police were not immediately available for comment.
A series of furniture fires also popped up on each street surrounding Cedar Village.
East Lansing police and fire responded to the scene, and riot officers from Michigan State Police also intervened.
Finance sophomore Jeff Nemesi said a police car attempted to drive through the crowd and was deterred when rioters began jumping on the car.
“Students took the opportunity to mess with the car,” Nemesi said. “The car backed out, which of course made them go even more crazy.”
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