AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — A New York Giants victory celebration turned ugly at UMass Amherst following the Super Bowl.
Riot police armed with flash bombs and pepperball guns moved in on more than 1,500 UMass students that began rioting in the Southwest residential area late Sunday night.
“This is what happens when you lose. Win or lose people go nuts at Amherst so it’s a zoo out here,” one student noted.
Some students showed up in sorrow and looked ahead to next year.
“The Pats should have had it. Next time baby,” one student yelled.
Others, though, were rioting in celebration.
“We’re from New York. We want this…yeah,” two female students yelled back.
The plaza in Southwest, a spot known for riots in the past , began filling with students just minutes after the Patriots lost.
“I wouldn’t call it an angry mob. I’d call it an upset gathering,” one student commented.
Some students climbed trees and buildings. Others tossed toilet paper and drinks from nearby dorms.
Overhead announcements urged students to go back inside. Most students, though, failed to listen, so officers, mounted on horseback, moved in. It took police less than an hour to clear the crowd.
Fourteen people were arrested. There were no injuries or any reported damage.
Even those students who avoided the violent parts of the crowd say staying inside just wasn’t an option after a heartbreaking Pats loss.
“I was really upset and my first reaction was ‘I’m going to slam the door and leave’ and when I got outside, everyone I knew was outside,” notes one UMass freshman.
Fellow freshman Scott Tanner agreed, saying riots like Sunday’s are part of the UMass tradition.
“Nobody got too out of control. We came together and had fun with it. It was a great experience, especially as a freshman here,” Tanner said.