Morgantown Mayor Considers Billing Students For Police Responding To Fires
Written by Andrew Forgotch
Last updated on October 08, 2012 @ 8:06PM
Created on October 08, 2012 @ 7:02PM
For a second week in a row police in Morgantown are looking for those responsible for a massive amount of destruction.
In the most recent episode, which took place over the weekend, about 1,000 people took to the streets after the Mountaineers win against Texas.
The crowds set more than 40 street fires and even pelted police with rocks and beer bottles.
Morgantown Mayor, Jim Manilla called the actions over the weekend disgusting.
He told 5 News he's thinking about charging students money so the city can afford to stock the streets with extra officers.
"All of the sudden you just saw a window come crashing down on a couch," Nathan Myers said. Myers is a Virginia Tech student who said he was visiting friends over the weekend. "There was a fire, it was pretty crazy."
Saturday night into Sunday morning a crowd of about 1,000 people took to the streets after WVU's win against Texas. They set more than 40 street fires, and even ripped down a light pole.
"I've never seen anything like this in my entire life," Myers said.
Police got out riot gear and tried to put a stop to the mayhem, but when they did they were pelted with fireworks, rocks, and beer bottles.
"It's more than setting fires," Morgantown Police Chief, Ed Preston said. "It's much more than after sports celebrations. We're talking about criminal behavior."
The streets where the riots took place were filled with broken pieces of glass, charred sections of pavement, empty beer cans, and shoes strung over telephone wires on Monday.
"I was disgusted," Manilla said.
Manilla told 5 News he's considering levying a student impact fee, which would cost students $20 semester, and it the money would pay to put extra officers on the streets.
"We're at the point where anything good that was done has all been wiped out," Manilla said. "We're right back at square one."
Despite 15 people being arrested for their parts in the destruction, and overwhelming amounts of criticism, students said they don't see a stop to the problem anytime soon.
"I don't think we're really going to be able to change it," WVU Senior, Sean Walter said. "It's just the culture here."
"We can't allow this type of criminal behavior to go on," Preston said. "We can't allow people to not be held accountable for their actions."
At least four of the people arrested were WVU students.
On Monday, WVU President Jim Clements gave his State of the University speech.
During the speech he promised a four-step answer to the situation beginning with education, outreach and enforcement when it comes to alcohol use.
5 NEWS UPDATE: Morgantown Authorities Handle "Destructive" Aftermath of WVU vs. Texas Game
Aftermath of Riots Has People in Morgantown Talking
Morgantown Mayor Suggests Student Fee Due to Fires
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