5 arrested, 349 police calls after MSU win over UM, city officials say

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

East Lansing police fielded more than 300 calls and made at least five arrests following Michigan State University's win Saturday over the University of Michigan, officials said.

Couch burning started minutes after Michigan State's 37-33 victory over Michigan at Spartan Stadium.

The East Lansing department had 349 calls for service on Saturday, issued 20 citations and made five arrests, representatives said in a statement.

Meanwhile, between 7:30 a.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. Sunday, the East Lansing Fire Department fielded 142 calls for service, "including 79 EMS calls, 57 fire calls (ELFD received assistance from ELPD for several of these calls), 20 fire alarm calls, two elevator rescues, 26 truck/squad medic assists and six mutual aid calls," according to the release.

A few minutes after the MSU win a couch burns.

Property damage included a vehicle overturned and destroyed in an alley in the 200 block of Cedar Street, city officials said.

"While there were many who celebrated the Spartan win this past weekend in a responsible way, we are disappointed that so many individuals engaged in destructive, dangerous and illegal behavior following the game,” said East Lansing city manager George Lahanas. “These unlawful behaviors are not only extremely dangerous, but they unnecessarily overburden our critical emergency services on busy game days and overshadow great Spartan victories. Any notions that these unlawful behaviors are acceptable traditions are wrong.”

Other law enforcement agencies helped throughout the weekend, including the Lansing Police Department, MSU Police and Public Safety, Michigan State Police, the Meridian Township Police Department and the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office.

East Lansing Police Chief Kim Johnson said multiple couch fires in the roadway and large crowds blocked streets.

“The number of reported fires also required the 911 dispatch center to have to separate the calls to our police and fire frequencies, resulting in our firefighters having to respond to several fires without police security," Johnson said. "This was a very serious safety issue for our emergency responders. Setting fires and causing malicious destruction of property is a totally unacceptable way for Spartans and Spartan fans to celebrate big wins."

Police said they plan to pursue charges against those who committed crimes after the game. Anyone with information, photos and/or videos is asked to contact the East Lansing Police Department at (517) 319-6834.