Monday, May 07, 2001

200 arrested near Kent, OSU campuses

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS, Ohio — Police officers arrested more than 200 people at Ohio State University and Kent State University over the weekend in an effort to control off-campus parties.

        While partygoers were relatively calm in Columbus, those in Kent threw rocks and bottles at police and set fires. No major injuries were reported.

        After two weekends of clashes between students and police near Ohio State, police shed their riot gear on Saturday night, but maintained their heightened presence near the campus.

        Columbus police arrested 137 people over the weekend and five businesses were cited for selling alcohol to underage drinkers, Columbus police spokeswoman Sherry Jones said.

        The number of arrests was substantially larger than either of the previous two weekends, when police officers used tear gas and wooden projectiles to control crowds that threw bottles, started fires and broke windows.

        In Kent, police dispersed partygoers Friday and Saturday nights near campus.

        Revelers at a block party Friday night flung rocks and bottles at police, who wore riot gear and dispersed the crowd of nearly 1,000 people by firing plastic pellets at them.

        Kent police said in a statement that only a “pocket” of people from the party caused the problems and that they arrested people who failed to leave the area when police or dered them to do so.

        Kent police arrested 21 on Friday, and more than 50 on Saturday.

        Police estimated that 2,000 revelers filled the parking lot and apartments Saturday at the University Townhomes apartment complex just south of the Kent State campus.

        The area was calm Saturday with people gathering in the complex's courtyard to barbecue and drink alcohol. But police dispersed the crowd after fires were set Saturday night, including to a couch and a car. They ordered people indoors or out of the neighborhood.

        Nearly 100 police cars patrolled the area throughout the day and into the night, and surveillance cameras were aimed from atop a fully extended fire ladder.


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