MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Last weekend’s riots in Morgantown following WVU’s upset of Baylor turned into an expensive proposition for taxpayers.  The city estimates expenses of over $45,000 to cover damages, overtime and equipment to handle any future riots.

An estimated 5,000 rioters, mostly WVU students, blocked streets, started fires, damaged property and threw objects at police and firemen last Saturday night and Sunday morning. Approximately 50 responders from the Morgantown Police Department, West Virginia State Police, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department and University Police Department were called in to handle the crowds, according to Morgantown City Manager Jeff Mikorski.

“We are incredibly thankful that no one from these agencies was seriously injuried by the rioters, some of whom threw objects including softball-sized rocks and rolling flaming dumpsters downhill at first responders,” Mikorski said in prepared released.

The city estimated repair costs of nearly $15,000 for damaged property.  Meanwhile, the city has also ordered over $30,000 worth of equipment and supplies, including helmets, gas masks, riot shields and pepper spray, to handle any future riots.

“I think the direction and leadership the University is taking by working with students, alumni and parents is needed,” Mikorski said, “but the police and fire departments need to be prepared and plan for any situation that may occur.”

The University has expelled three students for participating in the riots and disciplining others for their involvement.  WVU President E. Gordon Gee has said he expects more expulsions.

Here is the entire release from Mikorski:

MORGANTOWN – City Administration would like to extend its gratitude to our police, fire and Public Works staff for their valor in the face of overwhelming odds – roughly 50 responders against a group 5,000 rioters Saturday night – as well as West Virginia State Police, the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Dept. and university police officers, who helped us throughout the riots.

We are incredibly thankful that no one from these agencies was seriously injured by rioters, some of whom threw objects including softball-sized rocks and rolled flaming dumpsters downhill at first responders.

“I am proud of our police officers, fire fighters and Public Works employees, and on the way they responded in a professional manner throughout Saturday night and Sunday morning that eliminated serious injuries,” said city manager Jeff Mikorski.

After damages caused by the riots were assessed from all City departments, Public Works reports that it cost $1,792.03 to repair damaged street lights and $600 to replace two light posts and bases that were torn down by members of the crowd. Additionally, $718.44 went to replacing or reinstalling street and traffic signs that rioters removed, bringing a total cost of $7,478.83 in repairs, including labor and overtime, supplies and required equipment.

The Fire Dept. reported a cost of $3,686.54 to replace its damaged items and pay for overtime. Other damaged items that were not included in that total include an engine and a vehicle that were both hit with rocks or bottles, totaling $2,500 in needed repairs, and a vehicle that was exposed to tear gas in need of $100 in repairs. The department has also requested $2,211.15 in items needed for personal protection, including helmets and gas masks.

The Morgantown Police Dept. ordered equipment and supplies officers would need to better control a crowd or riot in the future. The inventory, which totals $28,209.13, includes riots shields, smoke rounds, pepper spray cans and pepper balls, gas masks and equipment needed to release pepper balls into a crowd.

Morgantown Police also totaled $3,716.64 in overtime resulting from the weekend events.

“I think the direction and leadership the University is taking by working with students, alumni and parents is needed, but the Police and Fire Departments need to prepare and plan for any situation that may occur,” Mikorski said.

 

 

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Comments

  • HandyDandy

    My feeling is that MPD is inflating the numbers to get the "police toys" they want. That being said, if anyone, student or not, is in violation of the law, then apply the law as needed.

  • ha

    That's only about a few days paycheck for holgs and huggs. They could donate it. Yeah right.

  • John b

    And the profit made from these same students through taxes and over inflated fines for things like parking tickets is?

  • alwaysfree

    $45,000.00 is nearly half of the city of Morgantown's annual street paving budget ! The cost and aggravation to citizens is multi-layered. If WVU is unable to come up with an alternative, then turn on the hoses the next time and let them chill in place.

    • Aaron

      They can always ban WVU students from downtown.

  • Kane

    As a former resident of Morgantown, I've seen how the place is a sh*thole. They practically let the "rich" kids have immunity to any consequence, alcoholism is so rampant that you can smell the beer while driving through the town. It's a town asking for riots. They need to call in the military or shut WVU down. Or they could stop accepting rich idiots into the university, they don't go to class anyways....but alas, the school's rep is so bad, no one feels sorry for them when riots like this happen.

    • Aaron

      Your opinion of Morgantown is the exception, not the rule.

      http://www.wboy.com/story/19079764/morgantown-tops-forbes-list-of-best-small-cities

    • Hop'sHip

      We don't miss you, Kane. I'm sure you're living in Paradise now, so enjoy.

    • js

      Get a real life, you haven't liven one so far.

      • JT

        You mean lived. Takes a riot to really live.....you are brainless.

  • party hearty

    Couldn't WVU provide an after game event for students, one planned by students for students. A couch bonfire in a field, beer for the age legal and music? Let students plan it, frats and sororities compete in building the bonfire, vendors serve up food and beer to the legal . . . and any students who make trouble outside the event, on the streets, an automatic boot. You got to provide alternatives. People want to celebrate. Make them do it on your terms. It'll cost a lot less than 45k$.

    • Shadow

      I think that is a great idea. Just put barbed wire around it with an electric fence.

      • JT

        Good idea...and call it prison. That is where they all belong....

  • ViennaGuy

    The city's expenses should be recouped through fines levied against the people arrested for these riots.

  • jimzulz

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    By the way, metronews must have a way of stopping certain names from posting. Nice try metronews. All I did was change my name. Just you can't say that they should name the first hole of a golf course after J*ohn R*aese and call it "Old Bast*ard"

    • THE LAST WARRIOR POET

      We beat a top 5 team, No one got injured, Play ball

      • JT

        And that gives you reason to riot because no one got hurt. Your about as dumb as the rest...

        Shut the football program down. That will stop the riots....

  • jimzulz

    Next time bring in about 1,000 cops and let them kick some as*s. a good as*s whipping might help

  • Aaron

    From the getgo, this has been overblown but when one expresses that opinion, we are accused of condoning rioting. The true numbers are closer to $3000 in damage of which much of that is employee hours. And for this, law enforcement feels the need to show up as if they're confronting terrorist on the Gaza strip.

    I talked to one student who was among a crowd on university avenue and he stated that 3-4 WVU officers contained the crowd by walking among them, talking to them and sending those too drunk back to their rooms. One person was threatened with arrest, got boisterous but before the officers had to go any further, he was helped back to his room in the Towers. There was no problem there and he was surprised when he found what had occurred downtown the next morning.

    Are we to the point that we really need law enforcement showing up in our neighborhoods in riot gear or is LEO overreacting because they can?

    • College Ave

      You should demand a full accounting of the city's expenses related to the riot. There's pretty big gap between $45,000 and $3,000.

      And while you're at, demand that city convene a public hearing to justify the need for 50 jack-booted first-responders to hassle a handful of peaceful, moderately buzzed students celebrating the greatest victory in WVU football history.

      Grow up.

      • Aaron

        "There's pretty big gap between $45,000 and $3,000."

        I agree. I think it's absurd that the city is prostituting the recent events as justification for wasting $30k of taxpayers hard earned dollars for play gear. It's good to see we're on the same page.

        • College Ave

          We are not on the same page.

          I'll be sure to indicate my use of sarcasm more clearly next time.

        • Jason412

          Aaron,

          In late August, you had this to say about police officers and their gear in response to rocks being thrown at them

          "The last thing I will say is that there is a lot of talk regarding the gear worn by LEO's, which confounds me. Are they supposed to show up with just their uniform and a whistle, particular in situations where violence is always on the cusp of breaking out? I would much rather see them utilizing the tactics they have been using then to guns and bullets to disperse the crowds."

          I'm not asking a question, just pointing out your absolutely ridiculous double standard.

          • Jason412

            What does that video prove as to why police should or should not have riot gear? A massive group of police were no more than 100 yards away from that scene, and calmly watched and were not assaulted.

            But you're saying police need riot gear to deal with looters, but not people who are throwing bricks and full beer cans at them. Gotcha.

            Besides the 2 days of violence over 2 months ago referenced in your video, here is the insane violence that has plagued the other 73+ days of protests

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_7ErkQFduQ

            Shocking!

          • Jason412

            Aaron,

            Yes I sure can

            In 2013? None that I can recall, team wasn't good enough. 2012, Texas. 2011, Bin Laden killed.

          • Aaron

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbv6QGhXj7g

            You have to close the boxes to see how Ferguson, according to Jason412 compares to what went on in Morgantown last week.

            I'm curious though Jason, can you cite the last "riot" that happened in Morgantown?

          • Jason412

            Aaron,

            Yeah I know. People in STL were only throwing rocks and water bottles, not actual bricks.

            Considering that and the fact this happens almost every year, I would say in addition to purchasing more gear the Morgantown police should be asking the DoD for an APC.

          • Aaron

            Apples and oranges son, apples and oranges.

  • Hillbilly

    Just be glad they didn't break in and loot all the stores in the area like the afrikin americans would have done . There is always a bright side .

  • LOL

    Love a good party.

  • LOL

    I love a good party. Burn Babay Burn!!!!!!

    • Kane

      Drunk idiot. What's your IQ now? Better yet what's your student status say? E X P E L L E D?

  • Tracyo64

    Government math amazes me. How can there be $45,000 damages when you include $30,000 worth of stuff that you didn't have before and couldn't have been damaged.
    Must be that "new math" they teach now.

    • Aaron

      This is the mentality that our government has resorted to. Embellishing activities and utilizing scare tactics as justification for wasting taxpayer dollars and restricting citizens rights and sadly, there are those who buy it hook, line and sinker.

  • Just Sayin

    5,000 or 500 rioters? Didn't look like 5,000 in any of the pics I saw. All reports I read said there were only 500-600 kids involved. Not saying that any "rioting" is acceptable, but let's not exaggerate the situation.

    • js

      Just poor reporting. What more do you expect from ETRO News?