Monday, April 2, 2012
Kentucky police warn revelers
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Police were forcefully warning Kentucky
fans that a repeat Monday of the dangerous weekend celebrations
wouldn't be tolerated for the game to decide college basketball's
Lexington Police Chief Ronnie Bastin said some revelers Saturday
night acted in a "dangerous and criminal" way by setting fires,
overturning cars and hurling bottles into the air.
"This behavior cannot and will not be tolerated," Bastin said
at a news conference Monday at police headquarters in Lexington.
"We want to send a clear and strong message that individuals who
engage in this behavior will be investigated and prosecuted."
Police made more than 30 arrests near the UK campus Saturday
night for arson, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, and
authorities are expecting more arrests from that night's revelry.
Police showed the media photos of people in Saturday night's crowds
who have been targeted for arson and assault charges once they are
identified. Bastin said patrols would be beefed up Monday before
and after the game, but he declined to give details.
"We will be hitting the streets in full force right before the
end of the game," Lexington police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts
said early Monday evening. Things were quiet, relatively speaking,
"Once the game is over and the celebrations begin, then we will
know which direction this thing is going," Roberts said.
Some students on campus in Lexington Monday said the partying
could be more intense if Kentucky defeats Kansas for its eighth
national title. The game is being played in New Orleans.
"I think it's going to be terrible. Lock your doors," said
Andy Mains, a 25-year-old student studying social work. Even if the
Wildcats lose, he said, "it'll be just as bad, lock your doors no
Mains said he and other students were a little embarrassed by
the raucous behavior Saturday night.
"It shows that we can't handle our liquor," he said.
University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto also issued a
warning Monday ahead of the game, which tips off at 9:23 p.m. EST.
Capilouto said the rowdy behavior detracted from the success of the
players "who have worked tirelessly to represent UK at a national
"I implore you to be safe, be respectful, and don't be
stupid," Capilouto said in a statement.
UK's campus was peaceful Monday afternoon, but excitement was in
the air as blue-clad fans and students eagerly anticipated
Kentucky's first trip to the title game in 14 years.
Shouts of "Go Cats!" and honking horns were already audible
near the campus' main library in the early afternoon.
Across the street, sophomore Colby Myers and a friend were
constructing a humorous tribute to Kentucky star forward and AP
Player of the Year Anthony Davis. In the front yard of the
Farmhouse Fraternity on Hilltop Avenue, they were sticking black
plastic forks in the ground in the shape of Davis's bushy eyebrows
- which Myers and other fans endearingly call Davis' "unibrow."
Myers, a 19-year-old agriculture student from Harrodsburg, said
he hopes fans keep the celebration safe if Kentucky wins.
"I think it's a little extreme, flipping cars and stuff,
there's other ways to celebrate without doing all that," Myers
University officials at the news conference Monday afternoon
also warned students that aside from criminal charges, students
could face suspension or expulsion for bad behavior.
"Students are reminded that inappropriate action can impact
their academic career for years to come," said UK Dean Victor