Lawrence police report 14 arrests after KU loss to Kentucky
Fourteen people were arrested — most of them on misdemeanor charges — near downtown Lawrence after Kansas University’s loss Monday night in the NCAA championship game, according to Douglas County Jail records.
And a Kansas University Medical Center police officer was treated for a head injury after a suspect in a fight hit him and knocked him to the ground on Massachusetts Street, said Sgt. Trent McKinley, a Lawrence police spokesman, and a Kansas Highway Patrol trooper was bitten on the arm in a separate incident. Despite those problems, he said police were pleased with how most fans acted Monday night.
“Obviously we had a group that was very disappointed. The vast majority of our citizens and fans behaved themselves and mourned the loss with us for a few minutes and then left downtown,” McKinley said. “There was the other element of people who were looking for trouble, and those were the people that we dealt with as we got closer to 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., that sort of thing.”
About 250 Lawrence police and other area law enforcement officers, including Douglas County Sheriff’s and Kansas Highway Patrol troopers, patrolled downtown and the Oread Neighborhood as fans left bars and watch parties. The scene was more somber than Saturday night’s euphoria after KU’s victory over Ohio State.
Twelve of the people arrested will face charges in Lawrence Municipal Court.
Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson’s office reviewed two other cases:
• Vanessa Dawn Royer Warren, 40, Lawrence was arrested at 11:15 p.m. near Eighth and New Hampshire streets and charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery on a law enforcement officer.
• About 40 minutes later, an 18-year-old Topeka man was arrested in the 800 block of Massachusetts on charges of battery on a law enforcement officer, obstruction and disorderly conduct, but prosecutors said no formal charges would be filed Tuesday and he was released.
According to dispatch traffic and reports on Twitter, officers used a Taser to make at least one arrest downtown. McKinley said the report on the incident was not finished and that officers from other agencies deployed a Taser to make two arrests.
“Witnessed a guy purposely knock a cop to the ground, then run. Three cops started to run after him when 1 cop tazed the guy,” Jessica Bricker wrote on Twitter at 1 a.m. Tuesday.
The 14 arrests included nine charges for disorderly conduct; four for battery; three for theft; two for battery on an officer; two for obstruction; one DUI; and one each for possession of marijuana and interference with duties of an officer. Nearly all suspects were arrested for more than one charge. The people arrested included two Lawrence women; two Lawrence men; an Ottawa man; a Lee’s Summit, Mo., woman; an Independence, Mo., man; a Kansas City, Mo., man; five Topeka men; and, a Tonganoxie man.
Unlike Saturday, police did not close Massachusetts Street downtown to vehicle traffic.
Here’s a roundup of other incidents following the game:
• McKinley said a crowd gathered at 14th and Kentucky streets as one or two people climbed up to try to steal the Kentucky street sign, damaging the traffic light. A city utilities crew worked on the light Tuesday afternoon, and temporary stop signs were in place.
• No other major damage was reported, but police did receive calls about people in Oread neighborhood trying to steal other Kentucky Street signs, McKinley said. Many of those incidents occurred when police were dealing with crowds and they had all non-emergency calls on hold, he said.
• A wicker loveseat was set on fire about 12:25 a.m. in the street in the 1300 block of Tennessee Street.
• Assistant KU police Chief Chris Keary said there were no major incidents on campus. Allen Fieldhouse was near capacity for much of the game as fans watched the broadcast from New Orleans on the video board.
• Rod Kutemeier, general manager for Knology of Kansas, said a power surge caused a fuse to blow Monday night, which affected cable service for 17 homes southeast of the KU campus.
• Lawrence Memorial Hospital reported there were 15 game-related emergency room visits due to falls, lacerations and intoxication. All patients were treated and released.
Lawrence police generally were pleased with their response and fans’ reactions both Saturday and Monday.
“All in all, things went well, and certainly as we compare ourselves to other cities we feel very fortunate that we were able to carry this out with really no major problems at all,” McKinley said.
Police were busier in Lexington, Ky., responding to a rowdy victory crowd there.
One man was wounded by gunfire early Tuesday in Lexington, numerous small fires were set and dozens were arrested as thousands of fans celebrated, authorities reported to The Associated Press. The shooting victim’s foot was later amputated.
Lexington police had arrested several dozen people by the time the game had been over only a few minutes, police spokeswoman Sherelle Roberts said late Monday, adding that people had set couches and at least one car on fire.
The fire division’s Davis said about 56 fire runs had been made in the area where fans had gathered. One was a garage fire, but the rest were smaller nuisance fires involving couches or bedding, he said. Davis knew of no fire-related injuries.