Six people were arrested and 12 others transported to area hospitals after a chaotic crowd of nearly 2,000 formed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Sunday night following the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl loss.
People began to gather on the Southwest plaza of the school's Southwest Residential Area shortly after the game ended — and the Philadelphia Eagles officially beat the Pats 41-33 — around 10:15, university officials said.
Fights broke out in the crowd after that loss, according to UMass Police, “and the crowd threw objects and set off smoke bombs and firecrackers,” a university spokesperson said in a statement.
UMass Police as well as Massachusetts State Police and Amherst Police were on scene to control the crowd. Along with setting off firecrackers, people there reported seeing others throw cans and glass bottles as well as televisions and laptops.
Police repeated told members of the crowd to dismiss, officials said, before dispersing PepperBalls — a pepper spray projectile — in order to clear the area. The plaza was cleared by 11:30 p.m.
It was not revealed if those transported to the hospital or those arrested were students.
Twelve people within that crowd were transported by ambulances, according to the Amherst Fire Department, for injuries including lacerations, alcohol intoxication and head injuries.
Campus police are “proceeding with criminal charges and the university will also initiate a prompt review of the matter under its student conduct process as appropriate,” the university said in a statement.
Though the Patriots six Super Bowl titles under their belt, this isn’t the first instance of fans at UMass taking to the streets after a Pats loss.
Thousands of UMass Amherst students rushed to the same area of campus to smash bottles, set off firecrackers and break out into fights in 2008 when the Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII with a score of 17-14 and again in 2012, when the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI 21-17.