Police Pepper Spray Arizona Fans Upset Over Team’s NCAA Tournament Loss

PHOTO: One man confronts the line of advancing Tucson Police.

Several hundred University of Arizona fans upset at their team’s loss in the NCAA tournament on Saturday night took to the streets to voice their discontent by throwing beer bottles and firecrackers at officers, Tuscon police said.

At least 15 people were arrested for offenses ranging from disorderly conduct to unlawful assembly and resisting arrest, Tuscon police Sgt. Pete Dugan told the Associated Press. No injuries were reported.

PHOTO: UA fans riot on University Blvd.
Marie Sasnett/Daily Wildcat
PHOTO: UA fans riot on University Blvd.

After Arizona’s 63-64 overtime loss to Wisconsin in the West Region final in Anaheim, Calif., fans leaving bars and restaurants near the campus began to congregate on University Boulevard, police said.

PHOTO: Brother Dean taken into custody by TPD Officers.
Daily Wildcat
PHOTO: Brother Dean taken into custody by TPD Officers.

Several attempts by the university to disperse the crowd through the public announcement system and social media went unheard and police were called in, according to Dugan.

PHOTO: Man in neck brace shot 4 times in back with pepper balls during riot on University Boulevard.
Daily Wildcat
PHOTO: Man in neck brace shot 4 times in back with pepper balls during riot on University Boulevard.

Officers wearing riot helmets, face masks and carrying batons arrived in cruisers with the intention of stopping the barrage of beer bottles, cans and firecrackers that students had started to throw at them, Dugan said.

PHOTO: Lone man confronts Tucson Police.
Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star
PHOTO: Lone man confronts Tucson Police.

Police responded by shooting pepper spray, pepper canisters and pepper balls, Dugan said. Fourteen of the 15 people arrested were released and one person was taken to Pima County jail. The street was cleared by late Saturday evening.

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