Tucson police clash with UA fans upset with team’s loss in NCAA game

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Tucson, AZ, United States (4E) – Tucson police and fans of the University of Arizona (UA) basketball team clashed Saturday night on University Boulevard following the UA’s overtime loss in the NCAA’s West Region final.

Officers from the Tucson Police Department (TPD) fired pepper spray, pepper canisters and pepper balls at UA fans after the latter refused to dispersed, threw water and beer bottles at them, and set off firecrackers.

Police arrested 16 people and charged them with unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, said TPD Information Officer Sergeant Pete Dugan. Fifteen of those arrested were later released while one remained detained at the Pima County jail.

No one was injured in the violence that erupted around 9 p.m. after game watchers left restaurants and bars near the UA campus. Some UA fans upset at the 63-64 overtime loss of their team to the University of Wisconsin in their game in Anaheim, California started congregating on University Boulevard. When police told them to leave, they refused and vented their anger to the officers.

Additional officers wearing riot helmets, face masks and carrying batons arrived in cruisers to disperse the crowd and arrest rioters.

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