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Fights break out in tailgating fields before football game

POSTED AT 11:58 PM ON Sep. 21, 2008 

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Tension among students broke out during the tailgate of Saturday’s IU vs. Ball State University football game.

At about 6:20 p.m. IU Police Department officers noticed a crowd on the southwest corner of 17th Street and Woodlawn Avenue beginning to throw beer and cups on one another, IUPD Capt. Jerry Minger said.

Indiana State Excise Police Officer Travis Thickstun said in a press release that people threw more than 100 bottles, cups and other objects through the air. He also said a few fights began to break out.

“Saturday’s tailgating crowd was the most out of control we have seen in several years,” Thickstun said in the press release.

IUPD then called for backup to break up the crowd and told the people to go into the football stadium, Minger said.

Thickstun said IUPD, the Bloomington Police Department and the Indiana State Police all went to the area to help prevent any further incidents from erupting on the scene.

Both Minger and Thickstun said police broke up the crowd before the scene became dangerous.

“Any time you have a significant amount of alcohol, inevitably you will have some type of problem,” Thickstun said.

Minger said the crowd was not as bad as some tailgates he has experienced in his 35 years of working for IUPD.

He said there were no reports of damage or of anyone needing medical assistance during this particular incident. Minger also said the crowd was “99 percent cooperative” with the officers.

Overall, the Indiana State Excise Police issued 97 tickets while students were tailgating.

Police distributed a large portion of the tickets, 78, to minors for possession or illegal consumption of alcoholic beverages. Tailgaters were also issued tickets for public intoxication, false identification, resisting law enforcement and aiding a minor to possess alcohol.

At the football game, an IU student was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication at about 8:15 p.m., Minger said, reading from a police report.

Police arrested Lucas Widdicombe after someone sitting near him said he had a cup, and “he had urinated in the cup and was going to throw it at Ball State fans.”

The usher supervisor who found Widdicombe said the cup Widdicombe carried did smell like urine, according to the report.

Widdicombe told police he had not urinated in the cup and had no intentions of pouring it on people. Widdicombe said someone had given him a cup of urine while he was in the restroom, and he decided to take it back to his seat to show his friends.

 

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