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Police Arrest Man in Purdue Melee

April 10, 2001

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) _ A man faces several charges, including theft and rioting, for allegedly setting fires on Purdue’s campus during a disturbance after the women’s team lost in the NCAA tournament final.

Joshua Neeley, 20, who is not a Purdue student, surrendered to police Monday night. Police said video shot during the April 1 melee shows Neeley involved in several acts of vandalism.

He was identified from video stills and photographs taken by police and citizens and posted on the Purdue Police Department’s Web site. Neeley was being held Tuesday in the Tippecanoe County Jail on a $500 cash bond.

He faces two counts of theft and one count of criminal mischief, all Class D felonies; one count of criminal recklessness, a Class B misdemeanor; and one count of rioting, a Class A misdemeanor.

If convicted on all charges, he could face more than 10 years in prison and $36,000 in fines.

Also Tuesday, Purdue officials announced the expulsion of a second student and the suspension of another for either starting or helping set trash fires during the disturbance. The two students were among six people arrested that night.

Unruly crowds of students and other people vandalized cars and set fires that caused an estimated $75,000 in damage on and near campus after Purdue lost to Notre Dame in the women’s national title game.

Stephen J. Akers, executive associate dean of students, said 20 students have been summoned for disciplinary hearings so far, but more hearings are likely.

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