Double Weekend Wins Means Twice the Celebrations
A double win over the weekend for the Cats meant twice the celebration for fans.
Couches were burned, crowds poured into the streets and the atmosphere around campus lived up to expectations.
Lexington Police said it was calm compared to celebrations in the past.
Everything started with the big rival win against Louisville Friday. Police were expecting crowds as fans rushed the streets.
The game ended around midnight and celebrations lasted well into Saturday morning.
It was daylight at the final buzzer of Sunday’s game. Police thought that might keep people from celebrating. It didn’t, but police were ready.
Now they’re gearing up for the final four hoping celebrations stay in control.
“We had a couple of people who set couches on fire, set cars on fire there was destruction of property that was some serious dangerous behavior,” said Sherelle Roberts with the Lexington Police Department about Kentucky’s big win in 2012. “We can say that so far everyone has behaved responsibly with just a few exceptions.”
Only five arrests were made this weekend, much fewer than the dozens made in 2012. Police said that number could go up as officers look through pictures, video and social media.
“I think everybody’s kind of learned what’s the acceptable way to celebrate and what’s not the acceptable way of celebrating,” said Harold Hoskins, Assistant Chief with the Lexington Fire Department.
Police and firefighters said they’ve learned a lot too.
“Our weapon of choice now is a handheld fire extinguisher that our guys are walking around in the crowd and addressing fires quickly whenever they get started, put them out and move on,” said Hoskins.
It’s part of a post-game plan that can change depending on the crowds.
“We want people to have fun, we want people to enjoy themselves but we want them to remember that there are serious consequences,” said Roberts.
Police are hoping Saturday’s celebrations don’t take an illegal turn.
“Our expectation for the next upcoming game is that everyone will continue to behave themselves, to follow the law, to not steal things, set things on fire, destroy property,” said Roberts.