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Tuesday, January 4, 2005
ASU: 'Up to two dozen' fans shocked

Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State's police detail used stun guns on some rowdy fans Saturday at the Fiesta Bowl in an effort to protect the field.

"They 'tased' a few members of the crowd, maybe up to two dozen," ASU spokesman Keith Jennings said.

Jennings said the Sun Devil Stadium turf needed to be protected for Sunday's NFL season finale between the Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tempe.

Pepper spray has been used on crowds in the past, according to Jennings, who said ASU police used stun guns as crowd control devices for the first time this year and will use them again, if necessary.

"We have a contract with the Cardinals that we will protect the goal posts and the field," Jennings said.

The stun guns emit 50,000 volts of electricity. They are capable of firing two barbed darts up to 21 feet to deliver five seconds of electricity, which temporarily immobilizes people and inflicts pain.

Police used them in "drive stun" mode, touching them to fans and discharging one second or more of electricity.

Jennings said four people were arrested during the melee in the north end zone, including one for inciting fans to riot and another for punching a state Department of Public Safety officer in the face.

The detail charged with protecting the field consisted of DPS officers and police from ASU, Tempe and Scottsdale.

About 100 to 200 Utah fans were "actively pushing" their way toward the field, said Scott Smith of Salt Lake City.

Smith said he saw police hit a few people with the stun guns, whose safety has come under scrutiny in recent months.

"If someone was shocked and something happened, I think that would probably be a high price to pay to save a little piece of grass," Smith said.