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Police, Mich. St. Protesters Clash

May 2, 1998

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) _ Michigan State students clashed with police early this morning during a protest over a ban on alcohol at a popular site for tailgate parties before the school’s football games.

Police fired tear gas into a crowd of students who converged on downtown shortly after midnight and lit a bonfire. Students later set more bonfires.

Dozens of police officers in riot gear were on the scene. Six people were treated on the scene for tear gas-related injuries, and five others were treated for unspecified injuries at Sparrow Hospital, officials said.

Four or five students were arrested as police had bottles and rocks thrown at them, police Chief Lawton Connely said.

Dave Rudolph, a Michigan State senior who participated in the protest, said the first round of tear gas was fired by police without warning.

``Had we gotten a warning before they shot the tear gas, the crowd would have dispersed,″ Rudolph said.

East Lansing Police Capt. Stephen Chubb said police warned the crowd each time before tear gas was sprayed.

The Associated Students Michigan State University Student Assembly said in a statement they are angry they weren’t consulted before the administration imposed the alcohol ban.

The ban was implemented for Munn Field, where fans hold tailgate parties before Spartan football games. School officials said last month that alcohol use had gotten out of control in recent years at the field.

The ban takes effect this fall, though tailgate parties still will be allowed.

Update hourly