Dayton (Ohio) Police and University of Dayton Police were called to a student neighborhood late Tuesday night in response to a large, disorderly crowd of about 1,000 that had gathered in the street, WDTN-TV reported.
What went down?
The university police chief told the station in a statement that crowd members blocked the street, which prevented emergency medical access, and also damaged property, jumped on cars, and threw objects in the road, at officers, and at others in the crowd, which resulted in at least one injury.
But students told WDTN they were celebrating the cancellation of classes due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Video that shows students blocking Lowes Street. This was before any police action. https://t.co/EX3CK0pQpU— Flyer News (@Flyer News) 1583904037.0
When members of the crowd failed to obey commands to disperse, police shot pepper balls into the crowd, the chief said, adding that the projectiles "deliver a non-toxic, irritant powder that disperses quickly. The active ingredient is similar to what is found in hot sauce." The station added that police wore riot gear.
The chief added in his statement to WDTN that tear gas, rubber bullets, paintballs, and gas canisters never were used.
University officials told the station that the crowd dispersed after 2 a.m. Wednesday and that it's unclear how many arrests were made.
Rumors circulating on social media claimed the crowd was protesting steps the school had taken in response to the coronavirus, WDTN said, adding that university officials said those claims aren't true: "Indications are that the students wanted one last large gathering before spring break and the size and behavior of the crowd required police to take action.“
(H/T: Campus Reform)