A not-so-happy homecoming at Minnesota University

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) _ Police arrested dozens of students during an alcohol-fueled riot in the streets following a homecoming football game loss at Minnesota State, Mankato. At least 2,000 students had gathered in a largely student residential area, some setting fire to trash bins, tearing down fences, smashing car windows and throwing rocks and bricks at police, Public Safety Director Jim Franklin said. Police in riot gear used eye and skin irritants to disperse the crowd and arrested about 40 people. Franklin told WCCO radio in Minneapolis that four officers were injured by objects thrown at them. The area became so dangerous that it took an armored vehicle attended by 12 officers to pick up a student who reportedly wasn’t breathing, Franklin said. Police also received reports of students being assaulted by fellow students. It was not clear how many student were hurt. Franklin blamed alcohol for the problems. Witnesses said the riot started when about 400 students at a party after the game became violent and started throwing empty beer bottles at around 11:30 p.m. As the crowd grew, students damaged vehicles and filled the street. About 160 police officers were called in before the crowd was finally dispersed about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Franklin said. Mankato lost the homecoming game 20-9 to North Dakota State. The team is winless six games into the season. Bob Idding, who lives nearby, said he couldn’t believe what was happening. “It was the scariest feeling in the world,” Idding said. “I shouldn’t have been there, I know that. My wife and I were telling each other, ‘This isn’t Mankato, Minnesota. We have police in riot gear in the streets.”’

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