Lexington Prepares for Rioting

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Updated: 3/28/2012 11:14 pm
     Injured people being taken away.  Cars on fire. Fences being destroyed.  This was the scene back in 1998 when thousands of fans flooded the streets around the University of Kentucky's campus after the Wildcats defeated Utah to win their 7th NCAA Championship.  Lexington leaders are trying to prevent that kind of chaos this year.

     "We're going to celebrate but we need to do it responsibly, safely and respectfully," says UK Police Chief Joe Monroe.

     Just last weekend, someone set a couch on fire in the street after Kentucky knocked-off Baylor in the Elite Eight.  Police say that kind of behavior won't be tolerated.  They will have extra patrols on foot, in cars and on bicycles.  And, there will be more no parking and towing areas on Limestone, Woodland and Euclid, where rioters have gotten out of hand in the past.

     "We'll react to any potentially dangerous and risky behavior.  That includes, aggressive behavior towards other individuals, setting fires, damage to vehicles or other property, throwing objects, climbing up on things or excessive alcohol consumption," explains Lexington Police Commander Kelly Edwards.

     The city will also set up a triage center here at the fire station on Woodland Avenue to treat >

     "We will also have EMS in the area to provide support for any of the minor incidents that may occur," comments Lexington Fire Department Interim Chief Keith Jackson.

     The mayor is asking Solid Blue fans to follow the golden rule.

     "Let's treat others the way we'd like to be treated. And come through this with a winning spirit," asks Mayor Jim Gray.

     Students who are involved in criminal activity will face additional punishments.  UK's president says he wants them to have fun while staying safe.

     "I ask our students, especially, through our conduct we, we respect the community of Lexington," says Eli Capilouto.

     Police are urging people to avoid areas around UK's campus and downtown altogether unless they want to be part of the celebration.
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