Following Michigan State University’s 37-33 win over the University of Michigan in football today, young people – largely wearing Spartan garb – set fires in neighborhoods around campus today.
At least ten fires were set in the streets of the Bailey and Oakwood Neighborhoods, where fire and police officers were so outnumbered that they were absent from most of the scenes of destruction.
Acrid smoke filled the area around the East Lansing Police Department, which is housed at City Hall. In some locations, older people could be seen yelling at those committing the destruction, but to no avail.
MSU and City officials had tried in advance of the game to warn against excessive drinking and setting of fires. But it appears their calls had little effect as certain groups – consisting mostly of young men – seemed determined to have their fun.
A State News journalist has reported a group flipped over a car in the area of Cedar Village. At about 5:30, East Lansing police sent out an alert: “Motorists are advised to avoid Grand River Avenue (adjacent to downtown East Lansing/MSU) and the Cedar Village area in East Lansing at this time due to traffic congestion and blocked streets.” The all-clear for that area was sent out at about 6:15 p.m.
Helicopters circled overhead in East Lansing for several hours during and following the game.
Update: A tweet by East Lansing Mayor Jessy Gregg at 11 p.m. showed that at least two cars were flipped over during the melees.