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Crowd of 500 gathers, sets fires in Cedar Village following MSU's Sweet 16 win over Oklahoma

March 28, 2015
<p>MSU Police and East Lansing Police intervene on students' revelry March 28, 2015, on Waters Edge Drive by Cedar Village Apartments. The celebration were in reaction to the men's basketball win against Oklahoma during the Eastern Regional Semi-final round of the NCAA Tournament, "Sweet 16" in Syracuse, New York. The team will move on to be a part of the Elite Eight. </p>

MSU Police and East Lansing Police intervene on students' revelry March 28, 2015, on Waters Edge Drive by Cedar Village Apartments. The celebration were in reaction to the men's basketball win against Oklahoma during the Eastern Regional Semi-final round of the NCAA Tournament, "Sweet 16" in Syracuse, New York. The team will move on to be a part of the Elite Eight. 

Update, 3:34 a.m.

In the wee hours of Saturday morning, East Lansing police released a statement on the Cedar Village disturbances. 

Police estimate 500 gathered in the 1000 block of Water's Edge after last night's Sweet 16 victory.

According to the statement, police got involved when fires were set and members of the crowd began throwing glass bottles into the air.

Police arrested three people for disorderly conduct, unlawfully remaining within 300 feet of an open fire. 

"Upon making these arrests, the crowd immediately began to disperse," the statement read. "Officers were able to gain control over the situation within 15 minutes of the fire starting, which in turn eliminated any escalation of the disturbance. No chemical crowd management devices were utilized during this incident."

A 20-year-old male from Livonia, a 19-year-old male from Plymouth and a 19-year-old male from Marquette were all taken into custody, according to the statement. Their names have not been released and it is unknown if they were students at MSU. 


Update, 2:03 a.m.

Following MSU's neck-and-neck win over Oklahoma University, students took the the streets of Cedar Village, culminating into a crowd of hundreds and fires that prompted heavy police response.

Students quickly dispersed when police in riot gear rushed into the crowd, tackling one person to the ground — arresting him and one other — and stomping out the remains of a paper and plywood fire.

As police maintained a perimeter around the dying fire, students shouted anti-police slogans along with traditional MSU chants.

MSU student Kevin, who declined to give his last name, said the police response was an overreaction to a gathering fueled by school pride over a big win.

"When it comes to student spirit, they shouldn’t punish students who are trying to participate," he said. "Sunday, if we win, it’s going to be worse."

Immediately after the 62-58 MSU victory, multiple police vehicles were patrolling Cedar Street and Waters Edge Drive. From start to finish, the assembly lasted a little over an hour.

It began with students, excited over the win, chanting from their apartment windows and throwing bottles to the ground.

Quickly snowballing into a significant gathering of students, fireworks were shot off and a street sign was pulled from the ground.

A fire in the center of the crowd was started from papers, rushed in by revelers, and a piece of plywood.

As soon as the fire intensified, many students began to scatter. And when police officers soon after rushed the crowd, students fled.

After watching the game with friends in his apartment, Kevin, a resident at Cedar Village was listening to music and celebrating the victory with friends.

Interrupted by two Cedar Village security guards entering the apartment, Kevin was told the noise from his apartment specifically started the revelry.

The security demanded Kevin turn everything off in the case of an emergency.

Following the student arrests and police intervention, hired private security personnel for the apartments were telling students, observing in open-windowed apartments, their actions were illegal, in the case of an absent screen. 

When asked for comment, East Lansing police said they are releasing a statement on the night's event and the people arrested.


After MSU defeated Oklahoma Friday night to advance to the Elite Eight, crowds gathered near Cedar Village apartments in celebration. 

Flaming boxes, flaming shoes were among items set on fire.

MSU police surrounded the area immediately following the victory. However, a crowd of at least 100 people gathered for the revelry. Police did not immediately break up the crowd, who were chanting, "We believe we will win!" and the "Yes" chant. 

However, shortly after fires began blazing MSU police broke up the crowd and were shooing away bystanders.

Revelry began dying down by 1:15 a.m.

At this time, it is unknown if anyone was arrested or detained by the police. It is also unknown if there were any injuries or property damage. 

Stay with statenews.com for updates.

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