2012-02-06

Patriots’ loss is Super disappointment for fans

BOSTON (AP) — Hundreds of officers who lined the streets of Boston had little to do as fans quietly mourned their team’s Super Bowl loss Sunday night, but 14 people were arrested across the state at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst when police in riot gear dispersed a rambunctious crowd.

“We’re really sad right now,” said Molly Mackenzie of Boston, who was watching at a bar near Fenway Park with two friends as the Patriots lost the NFL championship to the Giants for the second time in five years. “It was a good game, really close.”

Boston officers focused on the areas near college campuses and sports bars, where previous celebrations had turned wild. Many were brought in from neighboring departments to help out. But after the Giants won 21-17, fans quietly filed back to cars and public transit stations.

Things were rowdier at UMass, where police in riot gear and on horseback used smoke bombs to disperse 1,500 students who gathered in the main residential part of the campus after the game. There were some fistfights, but no one was hurt badly enough to be taken to a hospital and no property damage was reported, said spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.

Thirteen of those arrested were students, and all were charged with failure to disperse or disorderly conduct or both. They will be referred to the dean of students for possible disciplinary action. The school, with more than 27,000 students, is the flagship of the University of Massachusetts system.

Police monitoring the situation decided to issue a dispersal order about 15 minutes after students started gathering. It took about 90 minutes to get everyone out of the area.

“It was a loud crowd and there were fights breaking out in pockets,” Blaguszewski said.

Marissa Faldasz, a junior whose dorm room looks out over where students gathered, said they were chanting “ U. S. A., U.S.A.,” and throwing beer cans and toilet paper rolls.

Video she took from her fourth-floor room showed smoke and flashes and students yelling, then much of the crowd running away as police on horseback approached.

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