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Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Lawrence Police credit ‘best fans in the world’ for lack of postgame arrests

April 9, 2003

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Police arrested five people downtown for disorderly conduct or fighting on Monday night after Kansas University's loss in the national championship game.

But the night didn't end with tear gas and riot gear, as had been the case recently in other college towns. Instead, most people honked, chanted, high-fived -- and left by 1 a.m.

"Overall, everyone did very well-- both the behavior of the crowd and also the professionalism of the officers," Sgt. Mike Pattrick said. "Kansas has some of the best fans in the world."

Fans spilled onto Massachusetts Street about 10:30 a.m. and didn't leave until shortly after 1 a.m.

Throughout the night, groups of men yelled for passing women to bare their chests. Some complied.

About 11 p.m. in the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street, a fan tried to take down a parking meter with a jump kick.

"Ouch," he said as he ran away.

Nearby, a man did a touchdown dance in front of moving traffic. Farther north, near Eighth Street, a man dropped to the ground and did push-ups as a crowd huddled around him.

About 12:30 a.m., a man ran into the street outside the Replay Lounge, 946 Mass., and smashed a bass guitar against the pavement. Police put him in a headlock and pulled him away.

To keep the peace, police had to stay flexible, Pattrick said.

"A lot of it has to do with tolerance," he said. "We understand there has to be a healthy outlet of emotion from the game, and we provided an atmosphere for that to occur."

Officers from a handful of other agencies -- including the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Ottawa Police Department and the Kansas State University police -- helped patrol downtown.

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