MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A big win for West Virginia over Baylor led to an even bigger problem hours later as riots and fires broke out across the city Saturday night.

Morgantown police reported seven arrests overnight, with more expected from state police and Westover units.


Crowds set fires, hurled bottles and tried to flip vehicles in several Morgantown neighborhoods after West Virginia upset No. 4 Baylor.

Police Chief Ed Preston said the surge built through social media, and by 10:30 p.m. police and fire fighters were responding to calls of street parties, blazes and destruction, starting in Sunnyside.

“We had fires in residential neighborhoods. We had where they tried to flip vehicles over in other places,” Preston said.

MORE: Read WVU’s statement on riots.

The chief explained just as police would get one situation under control, officers would get called to another area.

“As they were broken up or dispersed, other gatherings would occur in other parts of the city. Sometimes two, three, four gatherings were occurring at a time at various locations throughout the city,” said the chief.

When groups moved into downtown, they began pushing over street lights on High Street and throwing rocks and bottles at public safety personnel and their vehicles. That’s when police moved in.

Officers from multiple agencies warned the crowd to disperse, and when that didn’t happen, police used pepper spray and chemical munitions to disrupt the riots.

“Although we had a number of riots involving thousands of people, we were able to prevent any serious injuries. We did have property damage but we didn’t have any major property damage. We didn’t have any buildings set on fire or anything like that,” said Preston.

A student took cell phone video of a riot near Summit Hall. Loud bursts can be head before white smoke appeared and rioters starting running in the opposite direction.

This is the first time this season that crowds have created mayhem after a WVU game. The Mountaineers defeated No. 4 Baylor 41-27 on Saturday afternoon.

“This is a fantastic sports program but their victories end up being marred by the conduct of people like this,” Preston said. “That’s the really disappointing thing.”

The chief said it will take a couple of days to assess the damage.

University president Gordon Gee said the school would join police in reviewing surveillance video and social media posts to identify any students involved.

“This is not acceptable Mountaineer behavior,” he said. “It is not ‘partying’ to set fires, tear down fences or throw bottles at police. It is criminal and will be dealt with as such. I have zero tolerance for students who wish to act in such a way that it demeans the achievements of our institution and its faculty, staff, students, alumni and our Morgantown community.”

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  • J. Edgar

    The university perpetuats this confrontational atmosphere by not letting the students storm the field after big victories. They need an outlet for their emotions. WVU is the only major college that does this. It creates an us against them mentality on both sides. Let's just keep doing the same thing and see if something different happens.

    • RDC

      WVU a major college?? I've always thought it was known as a party school and a last resort for the "bottom feeder" students. Am I wrong?

      • Kathy Braden

        @RDC- If you have a problem with WVU GET OFF THIS PAGE! We don't want or need your comments! YOU ARE WRONG! Every school has its trouble makers. WVU needs to EXPEL some of its to send a message to the rest!

        • RDC

          " We don't want or need your comments! "
          Wow Kathy, I glad you get speak for everyone on this forum. I sure must have struck a nerve.

          • Zip

            Nah, you're just a simple-minded twit that deserves nothing more than a buzz off.

    • keystone mountaineer

      You are clueless

    • Dan the Man

      Ohio State has done the same thing in the past...saying we are the only University in the country that does this is an ignorant and uninformed statement.

  • Steve

    Well at least we rioted over something important, unlike these folks. LOL

    • Jason412


      In the grand scheme of life, there's nothing you'll remember more than when WVU beat Baylor. It's something I'll be telling my grand children about because it is just so important I might go out and destroy my town right now.

      • mac

        I sure hope your comment was written with "tongue in cheek' - - otherwise, you need real HELP! Your self-centered, egotistical verbiage about possibly destroying "my town" is on the verge of being ludicrous!

        • Donald Powell

          Of course his comment was written in tongue in cheek lighten up ... someone else also said its like WVU has never won a football game. The same can be said that you people have never seen college students right after a big win. I'm not saying its right but it is something that happens in this country as well with others

          • katie

            Those college students should have been raised better by their parents! I raised three. One is a WVU grad student, right now. NONE of my children would have EVER dreamed of behaving that way. These people's parents raised TRASH! If you are filled with excitement after a game, get together and celebrate in a positive way. RIOTING is not the way to do it!

  • Jason412

    I'll be looking forward to the next WVU game. Morgantown police should have riot police posted all around the city in armored personnel carriers with snipers on rooftops. They will also need a truck with a Long Range Acoustic Device to deafen bystanders and AR-15's trained on any one who is outside.

    I also expect Morgantown residents will not be allowed to stand still for more than five seconds, if they do they should be arrested.

    These policies should be in effect for at least 3 months.

    Also, I'm still waiting to hear Fox News or any mainstream news channel report on the looting that took place and for the entire city of Morgantown to be condemned by reporters and the American public.

    • Ron from Morgantown

      I get the sarcasm and I don't disagree with your point . But I was there . I saw it . And I believe the police used the appropriate amount of force .

      • Jason412


        If we're all equal, we're all equal. If a riot in Missouri cost them their First Amendment rights, the same should be done in Motown.

        I was there as well but I wasn't around when they started tear gassing people, I can say that the use of force was very minimal in comparison to what I've seen in the last few months, while the rioting was very similar.

        • The bookman

          Making a political statement following this win against Baylor, and attempting to draw a parallel between Missouri shootings and WVU after game celebrations that get out of hand are a bit much. As stated in the story, major personal property damage was not reported. The looting you refer to? Haven't heard that. Haven't seen any video of people carrying off Big Screens from Best Buy.

          At times, where appropriate, a suspension of constitutional rights are warranted.

          The Morgantown Police and other Law Enforcement Agencies need to prepare for lawlessness and over the top celebrations better than they do. I would support any ideas they have to improve public safety, and would give them the appropriate latitude to try different things. Keep the things that work. Toss the things that fail or do to not pass the acceptance of the public. But I won't pounce on them assuming some conspiracy to marginalize our constitutional rights. But get over yourself and your civil rights march on behalf of the downtrodden. This isn't a comparable event to make your case.

          Congrats to the Old Gold and Blue! Great Victory.

          • Jason412


            "The people involved make a difference as well. "

            I completely agree with that.

          • The bookman


            You can't compare them because of the very initiating factors that are different, and the reason behind them. The people involved make a difference as well. Ferguson was an uprising of the African American community in response to something negative, in that case, the untimely death of a member of that community at the hands of a police officer.

            Last night was a chain of events that built out of control over something positive in the community, the victory over Baylor. It is over. The police don't need to patrol the streets tonight wondering if violence will erupt as a consequence of the victory. WVU fans won't be streaming into town from all over the country to partake in the violence and mayhem they missed out on last night.

            WVU needs to find an outlet for this type of thing, much like they did for the Grant Avenue Block Party, now dumbed down by Fall Fest. Proactively addressing this is the solution. It's not a political issue. It's a student life issue.

          • Jason412

            "How do I find a source to prove that looting didn't happen?"

            I misunderstood, I thought you were implying TV's were looted from Best Buy in Ferguson.

            Please elaborate on the differences between this and Missouri. Besides the incident that started them, the riots that followed are very similar.

            Felonies were committed in both cases. Personal and public property was destroyed in both cases. Arson was committed in both cases. Riot police were called in both cases. Tear gas had to be used in both cases. Officers were attacked with rocks in both cases. A small percentage of the group destroyed caused all of the damage in both cases.

            I'm having a real hard time finding any parallel's besides all the things that are completely identical between them.

            Here is what's different.
            - The public's response and willingness to dismiss it as "kids being kids"

            Unless, of course, assaulting police officers is ok by you as long as your team just won?

            I wonder if it was your business that was burglarized if you'd be so quick to dismiss it as things "got out of hand".

            I hope the Steelers win tomorrow, because there's some things in my neighborhood I just can't wait to destroy in celebration. Other people should be smart enough not to leave their personal property outside while I'm celebrating. After all, I'm in the college age group so it's no big deal if I commit a bunch of felonies in celebration.

          • The bookman


            How do I find a source to prove that looting didn't happen? a source showing looting in Morgantown.

            Rowdy, dangerous, and reckless behavior! Happens all over the country in college towns. This isn't the same as in Missouri. That's your passion. Enjoy attempting to find a parallel.

          • Jason412


            "Haven't heard that. Haven't seen any video of people carrying off Big Screens from Best Buy. "

            Please provide a source for this statement, because it is a bold faced lie.

            A riot is a riot. But I'm not surprised by you with your "every one is equal all the time" would not be able to see that.

            "As stated in the story, major personal property damage was not reported"

            THIS story reports no major property damage. Daily Mail reports "thousands of dollars" damage as well as "construction sites being breached". Are construction sites not personal property? Or is that just not good enough to meet your criteria of destruction and looting?

            Oh right, they were just drunk college kids. Let's excuse it. After all, this is the first time it's ever happened. Wait, no it's not, it's just another on a long list of Morgantown riots and property destruction.

            But it's ok, because they are just drunk and their team just won a game. That completely excuses it.

            "get out of hand are a bit much."

            HAHA! Is that what you call it when people are throwing rocks, bottles, and other things at officers while comitting felony arson?

            So let's recount
            1) Assaulted officers
            2) Destroyed property
            3) Committed arson
            3) Stole property
            4) Had to be tear gassed to be dispersed

            Yep, just a little out of hand.

            Thank you for making my exact point with that absolute ludicrous statement.

            Got out of hand, I'll be laughing about that all day.

        • Silas Lynch

          operative flipp'n word you're using there is RIOT!!!!

  • K-9's

    Does MO-Town PD have patrol dogs? If so, turn Em loose next time. That should do it!

  • notorious

    Its almost like the students at WVU feel that they have to be crazy and act like total idiots to live up to the reputation that "nobody parties as hard as us!"

    It is literally the dumbest thing ever. Just search WVU on Twitter. These kids wear this rep like some twisted badge of honor and it makes us all look like ignorant rednecks.

    • Greg


  • Harpers Ferry

    It's past time that we bring back public hangings in WV. These "thugs" should be hanged once they are arrested. That will show those kids who's in charge here.

    • js

      Harpers ferry, your comment one day after John Brown's raid is appropriate to your cause.


    Mtown & WVU needs to have a bonfire and band for the students to come to after games. Better use of money instead police overtime.

    • flossrancher

      WVU did exactly this several years ago. An informal "Grant Avenu3e block party" tradtionally flared up on the night if the first day of classes every fall, and grew to dangerous and uncontrollable proportions. WVU instituted :"FallFest," featuring a top-act concert on the Mountainlair plaza and other music and entertainment options inside. Thousands of students jam this event with few problems, and the unplanned back-to-class parties all over town don't grow out of control. Students are going to celebrate the first day of class, and they're going to celebrate a big sports win. WVU has found a way to deal with the one, but can't seem to apply the lesson to the other.

    • Panhandle Fan

      That's the best idea yet. Provide a place for celebration! It's a no brainer! Stop the reactive response and start proactive resolutions. This was a huge victory! While I don't condone this type behavior, I do support post game celebration. Now start working on this solution and idea. Find a field outside of town and away from the citizen populace.

  • Jonus Grumby

    The sounds of whiskey bottles hurling through the air and the audible roar of a couch afire...must be football season in Morgantown.

  • Clarksburg Pete

    So, President Gee wants to increase student enrollment to 40,000. I hope this puts a dent into that plan. Unfortunately, a collective punishment is the only thing that may work. I suggest an empty student section at the next home game. That may stop the madness.

    • jeco

      Pete your Stupid. If you had kids I bet you used a belt on them so they would obey You!

  • Silas Lynch

    WVU, as well as all colleges and universities throughout the country need to make a decision; Are they centers of higher learning or sports centers?--- First occurrence forfeit next game-- second occurrence: forfeit next 10 games,, including into next season if necessary..

    I am as big a sports fan and WVU fan as any but we have to get ahold of this problem.... throughout of college sports

    • Sue

      That's ridiculous

    • wv_hawk

      Of Course... PERFECT soultion. Punish the student athletes and the University --- two groups that had NOTHING to do with the disturbance.

      OR -- handle it the way we do now. Video the disturbance - identify the ring leaders - charge them with their appropriate crimes - fine them for the damages - and expel them from WVU. This way, you punish the violators with what they did. What a unique way of handling the situation.

    • Aaron

      Seriously. With that mindset, what would stop a wealthy alumni from hiring people to "riot" in a game to force the forfeit.

      Sorry man, but that idea is pretty much, for lack of a better world, ignorant.

      • Silas Lynch

        As you are, lack of a better "word" ignorant of and in yourself because you, and "your mindset" clearly identifies you as part of the problem and NOTHING of a solution,, in every facet of society.

        • Aaron

          I'll note that you didn't answer my quetion Sylas.

  • Stupid Hillbillies

    Classy DRUNK trash!

  • Ron from Morgantown

    I can tell you as a business owner in the downtown (which stays open till 4 am ) I can tell you first hand what happened . Most of the idiots are from Pittsburgh , Jersey , and Philly , and Baltimore . We have 50 - 50 split in enrollment , half from West Virginia and half from out of state . Most of the a-holes are from the northeast . They came to WVU as a last resort . As many as 10 other schools rejected them and now we are stuck with them . In many cases their only choice for college is WVU or James Madison . We take them because we need the tuition money . Most schools would say thanks but no thanks . I say throw the bums out . They respect nobody much less the law . I don't many native WV were involved in the rock throwing or car tipping or the fires or the destruction of personal property . I so pissed . I'm tired of the same few idiots ruining Morgantown and WVU . It cheapens my degree and degrades our city . The problem starts with our liberal acceptance policy for out of state students and ends with the type of barbarism you saw last night .

    • Townies

      Nice job Ron. Blame the out if town people. If you think WV natives are all little angles who would never do this then your degree probably doesn't have any value anyway.

    • Aaron

      I know there's a lot of out of state students involved but there's also a lot of young people from other schools and area's who come to Morgantown to party. The biggest problem I see here is labeling last nights events rioting. As far as I could tell, only one couch was burned. What a joke.

      • Ron from Morgantown

        "Saw?" You were there ? I was .

    • Ron from Morgantown

      Editor note , " don't think many native WV were involved ....."

  • veecee

    The students will face disciplinary action from WVU. There are cameras all over campus now, and more being installed. There are cameras down High St....There are people who can identify students, and are asked to do so. ...expulsion and a fine seems to be the way things are being handled...

    • Ron from Morgantown

      Absolutely . I like to party . I like to have a good time . But you have to respect life and personal property . Don't violate anybody's personal space and don't destruct properly that isn't yours . How simple is that ?

      • Jonus Grumby

        Ron, If the world had more people like you, there would be fewer problems. Nice job of keeping things in perspective.

  • Abbagoochie

    This is typical of the college campus all over. Not the destruction and riots but young punk thugs who think getting drunk is a resume enhancement and drinking beer is a life requirement. Any wonder why america is on a steep decline with filth like this in control of things down the road? Everyone with NO EXCEPTIONS should be expelled and charged with terroristic action and jailed for most of their worthless life,but i promise folks very little will be done by the police or the college who in a way have become a willing acompliance.

  • Vickye Galford

    Once again West Virginia will come out looking like the fools because of the actions of a few people who are probly not even from the state. Before the parents turn their children out to an unspecting town maybe they should teach them to respect others. .

    • Dan the Man

      Nobody got killed, nobody was seriously injured, nothing got burned to the grown, glad the police took care of this violence.

      Wish they could arrest Florida State's criminal Quarterback.

      • Kathy Braden

        Trash is trash. To excuse this behavior, makes YOU TRASH!

        People are supposed to behave like they have some sense after they leave something like this. If they wanted to go to bonfires and continue having fun where they would be of no concern to anyone, that would be one thing but to act like these people acted is RIDICULOUS!

      • mac

        What? So, Dan the Man, it's OK with you that "nobody was seriously injured" and "nothing got burned to the grown (sp) [ground]? And yet, you have the simple-minded attitude that you're "glad the police took care of this violence?" - Like it was no big deal. Well, I'll tell you what partner, give us YOUR real name and YOUR address and we'll have the next victory party at YOUR place; you know, burn some of your furniture, bust out some of your windows, urinate on your property and leave bottles, cans and other trash for you to pick up! And your "intelligent" wish is that Florida State's criminal quarterback should be arrested! God, I hope you're an out of state student and flunk out of WVU. We don't need any more idiot thinkers like you who think a "little violence" isn't that big of a deal. You better go back home and check to see if your high school diploma was signed. How small-minded can you be? I guess we know!

        • katie

          THANK YOU! You are SO RIGHT! This idiot doesn't belong HERE! Send him HOME!

      • Ron from Morgantown

        This time . And I doubt you were there to see it first hand .

        • will

          Been there, saw that, no miss behavior, no excuses for being bad and creating problems.