STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Penn State students and other young people hitting the streets as bars closed early Sunday erupted into a riotous frenzy, clashing with police, setting bonfires, vandalizing cars and smashing storefront windows with street lights poles torn down by the mob.
Fourteen police officers were hurt in the 2 hours of rioting by up to 1,500 people, authorities said, and more than 20 people were arrested. Three storefronts and 33 street lights were damaged. No looting was reported, although property damage was estimated at $50,000.
Scuffling started about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, as bars announced last call, among roughly 150 people gathered for a Frisbee game on a street lined by off-campus housing for Penn State University students, police said.
Within about 10 minutes, the rowdy crowd grew to about 1,500 after a trash can was thrown into the street and set afire. As police tried to control the mayhem, the drunken crowds rampaged through the streets, setting more fires and vandalizing cars, parking meters and street signs.
Rioters tore down street lights and used the poles to smash storefront windows and vehicle windshields. Injuries to officers ranged from burns and broken bones to less serious injuries suffered from thrown objects.
University police held 24 people Sunday, including at least 11 Penn State students, on charges including resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Rioters finally dispersed about 4 a.m., after state police and several area police and fire companies joined local and university officers in crowd control efforts.