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Homecoming game crowd reportedly hit with batons, pepper spray after rushing field

Since the CSU Rams’ victory over the Utah State Aggies Saturday night, reports have surfaced regarding the use of pepper spray and batons against fans.

The crowd rushes on the field following CSU's win on Saturday night. (Photo credit: Nick Petersen)
The crowd rushes onto the field following CSU’s win on Saturday night. (Photo credit: Nick Petersen)

CSUPD Chief Scott Harris confirmed that it was “a partner agency officer [not CSUPD] that used pepper spray,” but did not release any additional information.

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The crowd stormed the field Saturday after the final CSU field goal was made, and allegedly sought to tear down the goal posts.

“So, field goal went up, it goes through, a couple people jumped the wall and got told to get back in the stands,” said Dean Klinkerman, business administration freshman.  “At some point they realized we were going to tear the field goals down so they (University personnel) took them down,” Klinkerman said.

A CSU spokeswoman confirmed that the goal posts were intentionally taken down by officials.

Students said they saw authorities taking other safety precautions as well.

“A few people started to jump over the railings, but then the cops were hitting them with batons to keep them off the field,” said Nick Petersen, environmental engineering freshman. “After a while the trickle of people turned into a massive stream and they couldn’t stop it.”

Visiting Rams fans were surprised by both the actions of the crowd and the officials.

“It was a great experience to see all of the dedicated fans,” said Ben Johnson, environmental sciences freshman at UNC. “But I saw a guy get like smashed with a baton on his leg pretty hard. I saw an officer rip a shirt off of a fan running into the middle of the field in an attempt to stop him.”

Jack Rosenthal, a business sophomore, said he experienced this violence firsthand.

“I was already on the field because I was working at the game and when we won I ran around the field as well,” said Rosenthal.  “My hat flew off and I bent over to get it. An officer hit me in the back of my left leg on my thigh.”

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When asked about the identity of the man wielding the baton, Rosenthal said that “he didn’t look like a usual CSU officer. He was dressed in navy, maybe a hired one.”

Rosenthal reported that there is a mark on the back of his left thigh, where he was hit by the baton.

“It’s just a welt on my skin,” he said. “But I know my friends got pepper spray on them.”

No critical injuries have been reported at this time.

“It was really cool to see the fans storm the field,” said Brandon Grasmick, a student from UNC who came to see the game. “I’ve never been through an experience like that before. Compared to UNC games it’s a different atmosphere in general with more fans … There’s just more emotion in the games here.”

Collegian Reporter Jessie Trudell can be reached at news@collegian.com and on Twitter @j_trudes

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