Celebration of Kentucky win turns dangerous

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Authorities reported that one man was wounded by gunfire early Tuesday in Lexington, numerous small fires were set and dozens were arrested as thousands celebrated Kentucky's win over Kansas to claim another NCAA title, the Associated Press reported.

Battalion Chief Ed Davis of the Lexington Division of Fire and Emergency Services said he saw the shooting as he was filling out paperwork on a wreck involving a fire engine. Davis said he heard yelling about 25 feet away, and one man started shooting at another. Police Lt. Clayton Roberts said no arrests had been made in the shooting, which happened shortly after 2 a.m. EDT. The gunman disappeared into the crowd and behind some buildings and police could not locate him, Roberts said.

About two hours after the game, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said police had arrested people for charges such as criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, alcohol intoxication and setting fires. She said officers were still making arrests but didn't have a precise estimate. She said police had used some pepper spray to break up fights.

A car crashed into the patio area at a bar and grill where some people were dining, but the metal-and-brick wall kept the vehicle from getting onto the patio, she said.

Police handed out numerous citations, many for alcohol-related offenses, Roberts said. "I think that we're taking a more zero-tolerance approach," she said. "That has a part to play in it, but also people started celebrating much earlier than they did on Saturday. The amount of time to become intoxicated and the amount of time for us to be in contact with these intoxicated people has increased."

Emergency medical workers transported about 25 people to hospitals for treatment, mostly minor, Davis said. A lot of them were people who were intoxicated, while some had been hit by thrown objects or been involved in fights.

The comotion was also broadcast by Twitter as it was happening. The official Twitter account of the Lexington Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 526 sent out pictures and stats from the riots in real time with an assist from the Lexington Herald-Leader and Steve Collier of NBC-TV's Lexington affiliate, USA Today reported.

University of Kentucky student body president Micah Fielden took to Twitter with words of caution.

"We won the game but don't be destructive. Let's be smart and act like we've been here before (more than 7 times)," Fielden tweeted.

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This page contains a single entry by wilco202 published on April 4, 2012 11:52 AM.

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