Dozens arrested in Kentucky's Final Four celebration

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 01, 2012 2:54 PM
Dozens arrested in Kentucky's Final Four celebration

By Ellen Wulfhorst

(Reuters) - Dozens of people faced charges on Sunday after violence broke out as fans celebrated the University of Kentucky's win over arch rival Louisville in their NCAA Final Four match-up, officials said.

Thousands of fans filled the streets of Lexington downtown and near the campus Saturday night following Kentucky's defeat of Louisville 69-61 in New Orleans, but the party was marred by violence, authorities said.

Revelers set fires, torching couches, chairs and other furniture, according to officials. A car was turned over and set ablaze as well.

As of Sunday, 58 people were under arrest, said Susan Straub, a spokeswoman for Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.

Most face charges of disorderly conduct and alcohol intoxication, although two people were charged with arson, she said.

As rocks and bottles were thrown, a campus police officer suffered a cut hand when she was struck by a bottle, a university spokesman said.

Celebrations on campus were largely peaceful, but tensions erupted in neighborhoods nearby, the spokesman said.

"They beat an arch rival," said University spokesman Carl Nathe. "The majority of people were just celebrating, but some people took things too far."

Lexington's Wildcats face Kansas for the national basketball championship on Monday night.

(Reporting by Ellen Wulfhorst; Editing by Colleen Jenkins)