Calm and unhappy after U-Md.-Duke game
In the days before Wednesday's Maryland-Duke game, police and university officials touted their Herculean efforts to stop a raucous celebration before it began.
They didn't mention the ultimate buzz kill: an 80-62 Duke win.
As the final whistle blew on Wednesday night's game at the Comcast Center, the U-Md. students in the bars along Route 1 were in no mood to celebrate. There was no revelry, no flooding of the streets. Only dejected fans wondering whether this game is still even a rivalry.
"We feel like they're our rivals, but I don't think this game is more important to them than U-Va.," said Fernando Saltiel, 21, a senior studying economics. "I mean, it's pretty maddening that Maryland's not in it every year."
"To call it a rivalry, you need to have some sort of consistent competitiveness," added Ryan McCullin, 22, a senior English major. "We have the potential to be a top 10 program every year, and it just doesn't happen."
The Duke-Maryland game has historically posed a problem for police -- especially when Maryland wins.
Last March, 28 people, including 23 U-Md. students, were arrested and charged during a raucous celebration after a regular-season win over Duke. The incident became even more high-profile when a video emerged showing three county officers beating an unarmed student with their batons. Those officers remain the target of a federal investigation.
After a Final Four loss to Duke in 2001, a mob started fires and caused about $500,000 in damage. The following year, after the team's national championship victory, at least 17 people were arrested, six police cars damaged and three state troopers injured.
This year, police met with students several times before the game, trying to make themselves “visible in a way that wasn’t the way it was in the video tapes,” said Maj. Robert Liberati, commander of the Prince George's County Police Department's District 1 station, which encompasses College Park.
Police and university officials scheduled an on-campus bonfire for right after last night's game, hoping to attract revelers away from Route 1, Liberati said. They even held a prayer vigil the night before, appealing directly to God to stem the violence, Liberati said.
“I can honestly say we’ve done a lot more than we’ve ever done to reach out and build some bridges,” he said.
From a tactical perspective, police had more than 100 officers specifically trained in civil disturbance ready to deploy, said Maj. Andrew Ellis, the public affairs commander for the Prince George's department. Liberati said those officers had received additional training beyond the norm during the summer. He said the Prince George's police were also working with several other law enforcement agencies to keep the night safe, and they would have camera crews roving the streets to capture any possible mayhem.
At least as of 11:30 pm, they didn't need any of it.
| February 2, 2011; 11:33 PM ET
Categories: Crime and Public Safety, Maryland
Save & Share: Previous: Va. cancels plans for I-395 HOT lanes
Next: Pr. George's officer's car slides off road
Posted by: Barno1 | February 3, 2011 12:12 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: spunkydawg1 | February 3, 2011 12:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Barno1 | February 3, 2011 1:34 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: wmnatzakanian | February 3, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: PhilaTerp | February 3, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: cm88 | February 3, 2011 9:46 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: 70Terp | February 3, 2011 10:27 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: dbunkr | February 3, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Barno1 | February 3, 2011 11:54 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: louwat37318 | February 3, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.