MSU, East Lansing Police Work to Address Disturbances

By: Brian Johnson Email
By: Brian Johnson Email

Three more arrests stemming from this weekend's fiery football celebrations in East Lansing.

Ibrahim Oloko is one of three people who turned themselves into East Lansing Police, along with Oscar Mansky of East Lansing and Tyler Osgood of Charlotte.

The three are charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct for staying within three-hundred feet of an open fire.

Seven of the fifteen people East Lansing Police arrested have been charged.

Wednesday the City and Michigan State University officials met to talk about what happened after the Big Ten championship game.

East Lansing Police have many more people they would like to identify.

Only a small percentage of Spartan fans celebrated with fires in the streets, Saturday.

"I didn't think it was that bad. It looked like there was just a lot of gathering people," said a junior at MSU.

While students are now busy with finals, police are busy tracking down the violators.

"It is absolutely ridiculous that this keeps happening. It's been called a tradition, which is offensive and it's degrading," said Captian Jeff Murphy of the East Lansing Police Department. "Who would ever accept that it's a tradition?"

MSU officials agree.

"We've got to get the fire thing under control," said Kent Cassella, a spokesperson for the university. "Clearly our focus from MSU's perspective are those that are participating in the setting and fueling of fires."

Still, the university has yet to discipline any students.

Since Saturday, East Lansing has pressed charges against seven suspects.

While it's a misdemeanor to be within 300 feet of a fire and not report it, the City and MSU have agreed to focus any disciplinary action on those who fueled the flames, not the thousands who attended.

Since Saturday's Big Ten game, the Celebration Committee has already met so that these circumstances, don't repeat themselves come January 1st and again in March.

"Unfortunately it's that small number and those small few that give the rest of us a bad name, and we're just not going to tolerate that," said Cassella.

The number of people prosecuted will, in large part, be determined by the number of tips police get.

So far the $20,000 has garnered only about 50 tips. Each tipster can get anywhere between $100 and $500, based on the information they give. Even those who give an anonymous tip can still receive reward money.

Any major crackdown will only come if the community steps up with photos and tips of who is in the photos.

"If there's a fire in the street, that means something good is not happening. Nobody should go anywhere near it. They should call the police and let the police and the fire department take care of it," said Captian Murphy.

"Typically we don't see this kind of behavior around football games. We have had some situations in the past at different times of the year," said Cassella.

The investigation is just getting started. It could take weeks or months to finish.

"At some point we are going to have to say this is good, but our main goal is to hold people accountable for illegal behavior," said Murphy.


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