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Those arrested in Cedar Village basketball celebration will face charges, possible expulsion from MSU

March 30, 2015
<p>Police disperse the crowd of revelers on Waters Edge Drive and Cedar Street, on March 28 after MSU's victory over Oklahoma in the Sweet 16. Multiple individuals were arrested in the assembly which lasted just over an hour.</p>

Police disperse the crowd of revelers on Waters Edge Drive and Cedar Street, on March 28 after MSU's victory over Oklahoma in the Sweet 16. Multiple individuals were arrested in the assembly which lasted just over an hour.

Photo by Simon Schuster | The State News

After a weekend of bagel-throwing, fire-starting and mass celebrations at Cedar Village, 13 people arrested on site now face disorderly conduct charges, including unlawfully remaining within 300 feet of an open fire and propelling objects at police, according to an East Lansing police statement.

These individuals, who will soon be arraigned, face penalties of up to 90 days in jail and $500 in fines for their participation in either the Sweet Sixteen or Elite Eight victory celebrations.

Of the 13 charged, the three people on Friday and six people on Sunday who face the unlawfully-nearby-a-fire violations were targeted and arrested for being positioned closest to fires when police officers in riot gear intervened and cracked down on the massive crowds, East Lansing police Lt. Steve Gonzalez said.

The remaining four, who were arrested on Sunday prior to the sweater fire, allegedly threw bagels during the revelry and are charged with wrongfully propelling an object on a public street or sidewalk, Gonzalez said.

Although throwing bagels is a benign act in itself, the first four arrests Sunday were more of a deterrence and deescalation tactic, because chucking the bagels into the air at the celebration riled up the crowd of nearly 750, he said.

And as the energy in a crowd intensifies, that’s when the chance for throwing bottles and starting fires increases and the safety of the crowd becomes compromised, he said.

"Taken in itself, no one is going to get hurt by a soggy bagel," Gonzalez said.

Following the Big Ten Championship celebration in December 2013, East Lansing police and MSU police used social media and other means to go after revelers who were present but not arrested on site. The investigation yielded at least nine arrests.

As for follow-up investigations on Saturday and Sunday's events that might lead to the arrests of the fire starters or fuelers, Gonzalez said at this time information that is made public, either by an individual or news organization, is being looked over.

With the MSU's Final Four appearance set for 6:09 p.m. Saturday and the excitement being far from over, Gonzalez said his department, in coordination with MSU police, Michigan State Police and the Ingham County Sheriff's Office, is gearing up for a larger celebration after the game's conclusion.

In the statement, East Lansing police warned students that not actively leaving an area within 300 feet of a fire can result in an arrest and a misdemeanor charge. In addition, East Lansing police reminded students that it is within the university's power to suspend or expel students if they are found to have taken part in an unlawful assembly or riot.

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