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Riot at University of Hartford Leads to Injuries, Arrests

March 4, 1991

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Troopers and police from four towns were needed to quell a riot at a University of Hartford keg party that left at least nine students and seven officers injured and resulted in 13 arrests.

″It was total mayhem,″ said sophomore Darren Champion, 22. ″Basically none of this would have started if the police didn’t show up. If the police didn’t come wielding billy clubs, it would have been over quickly.″

Police said they were confronted with a full-scale riot early Sunday as hundreds of students pelted them with rocks and bottles when they tried to break up the party.

″They were met by a very large, angry crowd out there,″ said Sgt. Cary Gilbert of the Hartford police department. ″It was definitely a riot.″

The two-hour rampage began with about 40 students and eventually involved as many as 1,000, police said.

Some students said they were attacked by police even though they were just bystanders.

Senior Scott MacGregor, 23, said he was standing in front of a friend’s apartment just watching when he was rushed by cops.

″Next thing I knew a policeman took his nightstick and blindsided me,″ he said. ″I think he had absolutely no right to hit me. I was posing no threat to him at all.″

Police would not comment on the allegations of brutality but invited students to bring complaints. Police also said more arrests were expected.

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