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Police launched pepper balls Tuesday night in an attempt to disperse a “large, disorderly crowd” of University of Dayton students that “wanted one last large gathering before spring break,” according to university officials.
Contrary to earlier reports, the university said the students were not upset that university housing was shutting down due to concerns about the coronavirus.
The university was among multiple public and private colleges and universities in the state — including Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati — that cancelled in-person classes and moved instruction online at least through March, according to the Associated Press.
Police from several departments responded to a report that more than 1,000 people had gathered on Lowes Street late Tuesday and would not disperse when ordered to do so, according to the Dayton Daily News.
People in the crowd threw objects and bottles in the street and at police and jumped on cars, the university said in a statement that called the gathering “disorderly”.
At least one person was injured by a thrown bottle, according to the statement.
After verbal orders to disperse were ignored, police launched pepper balls containing powder with an irritant that disperses quickly, but they did little to break up the crowd.
Police in riot gear were in the area, the Daily News reported, and fire trucks and medics were staged in a nearby parking lot.
Police eventually were able to clear the crowds, and students returned to their housing around 2:15 a.m.
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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus guide
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