Published on CBSDC.com
Published on Patch.com
Published in the Prince George’s Sentinel
Published in the Montgomery County Sentinel
Below is an investigative series on the lack of emergency sirens in Montgomery County, Md.
- What Would Happen Here?
- County Leaders Debate Early Warning Weather Sirens
- Early Warning Weather System “Patchwork” Claims State Official
- Federal Funds “Could Be” Used for County Warning System
Published in Unwind Magazine
UMd. Students Flood Downtown College Park in Men’s Basketball Win Over Duke
After the final moment when the scoreboard read Maryland 83 Duke 81, every celebration in College Park Saturday night was in the name of sweet, sweet victory.
At the floral “M” near the campus’ main entrance, hoards of fans were met by a University of Maryland police officer dishing out high-fives in between directing traffic. The officer shouted, “Let’s go, Maryland” as fans dashed across the street and made their way towards downtown.
Just after 8:30 p.m., a university-authorized bonfire illuminated Chapel Field. As the fire reached up a few feet into the night sky, fans echoed the chants of the officer back near the floral “M”: “Let’s go, Maryland!”
That’s what caught the attention of Preston Williams, junior economic major, who was in his room in Harford Hall.
“I saw the bonfire from my room and I saw how many people were out here so me and my friends decided to come out,” Williams says. “It’s a crazy feeling, it almost feels unreal. The school spirit is definitely at an all-time high, and as a school, we’re just hyped that we just beat Duke.”
Steve Glickman, University of Maryland Department of Public Safety assistant public information officer, says the bonfire, which attracted a few thousand people, was used in hopes of deterring fans from setting their own fires.
“It gave students an outlet for being able to celebrate and it was a place for them to go,” Glickman says.
But the festivities didn’t stop there.
Thousands of fans flooded the intersection of Route 1 and Knox Road chanting “F— Duke,” screaming in excitement as they stumbled upon friends, and zigzagging across Route 1 in an attempt to find the perfect spot to watch the growing crowd in the middle of the street.
While most students were satisfied with celebrating with both feet on the ground, some took to higher heights.
A few students sitting on friends’ shoulders flashed the crowd; a few poured bottles of champagne on themselves as they crowd surfed; a few waved Maryland flags and homemade signs as they stood on top of the Route 1 brick barrier; and a few climbed on top of trash cans, bus stop enclosures and even street signs.
Students cheered as one fan climbed the Route 1 and Knox Road street sign, took off his shirt, put a Maryland flag around his neck like a cape and thrust his fist into the air. Much to the crowd’s dismay, Prince George’s County Police took the fan away after he climbed down.
A light pole was later pushed over in front of the Smoothie King at the intersection of Route 1 and Knox Road. Prince George’s County Police established a perimeter around the pole and exposed wires as students yelled, “F— that lamp!”
A few small fires were started on the outskirts of the crowd standing in the middle of the street, but police were able to quickly extinguish them.
Fire continued to be the theme throughout the night.
Fans in the crowd set off a handful of fireworks. A few students hoisted a large flare over their head like a torch as they jumped up and down along the edges of the crowd. And a couple of rolls of flaming toilet paper were thrown around in the crowd.
However, these incidents paled in comparison to the incidents during the 2010 riot in College Park after Maryland beat Duke.
“Saturday night, two arrests were made for disorderly conduct and failure to obey lawful orders, but it was not a riot, it was a street celebration,” Prince George’s County Police Spokesperson Cpl. Maria McKinney says. “99.9 percent of the students acted responsibly.”
Alex Dalrymple, junior criminology and criminal justice major, says unlike in 2010, the police handled the crowd very well this year.
“[The police], unlike the refs in the game, are letting us play in a sense,” Dalrymple says. “They’re ensuring that the mood stays positive by not getting too involved.”
Dalrymple says the night was the highlight of his time at Maryland thus far.
“This is the most amazing event of my college career. I’ve never experienced anything like this,” Dalrymple says.
Thomas Dawson, senior criminology and criminal justice major, says this year’s celebration was a “bit better” than in 2010.
“I know in 2010 people were vandalizing property and smashing car windows and some students got arrested. But this year, it’s more well-behaved and more organized,” Dawson says.
The night’s celebration culminated with Maryland basketball players Dez Wells, Charles Mitchell and Logan Aronhalt joining fans on top of the Route 1 brick barrier as crowds chanted – you guessed it – “Let’s go, Maryland!”
Dawson says the win Saturday was even sweeter considering Maryland lost 12 of the last 13 games against Duke, including last month’s 20-point loss.
“It’s about time we finally got this win, so I’m really proud to be a Terp. For us to leave the ACC after beating our ACC rival Duke, it’s a pretty fun experience,” Dawson says.