OSU football revelers set fires, tear down goal post
Columbus, Ohio — Fans took to the streets after Ohio State’s football championship victory early Tuesday, yelling and screaming in delight, setting nearly 90 fires and in the case of a few, tearing down an Ohio Stadium goal post. A few injuries were reported.
Police made a handful of arrests after using tear gas and pepper spray to disperse crowds of Ohio State students and other fans following the Buckeyes’ win.
Officers on foot, on horses and in cruisers patrolled the main drag through campus after midnight Tuesday, when revelers spilled out of bars near the campus to celebrate the university’s 42-20 win over the University of Oregon in Dallas.
Thousands, chanting “Let us in!”, converged on the Ohio State football stadium where police used tear gas to turn them away. Most headed back to the bar area, where cruisers lined the street and officers limited pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Fans tore down a temporary goal post used for high school games on the south end of the Ohio Stadium field, said university spokesman Dan Hedman.
University police responded to various places in and around campus, including Ohio Stadium, the university’s Mirror Lake, a popular student gathering spot, and the neighborhood north of campus, Hedman said.
“There was like a fog, because there was so much tear gas being used,” said Courtney Olesh, 19, an economics and finance major from Kent, describing the early morning scenes on campus.
The 89 fires reported to the Columbus Fire Department involved trash bins, Dumpsters and couches, according to spokeswoman Battalion Chief Tracy Smith. The agency also said it responded to three reports of people with injuries in the campus area.
Smith says the 89 reports started coming in just before 1 a.m. with the last reported about 4:45 a.m.
Some officers used pepper spray to clear revelers from the street, while canisters of tear gas were also deployed. The crowds began going home within about two hours.
WCMH-TV, showing images of revelers burning a couch, reported Tuesday that police arrested a handful of students who could face both criminal and university charges.
Gunfire in the campus area after the game was reported by police dispatchers, with no reports of injuries, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
No problems were reported in Oregon.