More arrests to come?

City and university leaders come down hard on rioters

Photo by Brittni Zacher

Community response to the bonfire street riot last Thursday night (Jan. 29) has been a mix of anger and resolve. City and university leaders, including acting Police Chief Mike Maloney (pictured), held a noontime press conference Friday (Jan. 30) denouncing the riots and saying that, as much as possible, those involved will be disciplined.

Tuesday night (Feb. 3), Maloney briefed the City Council on the raucous event, during which police were pelted by stones, bottles, bricks and even cinderblocks. Some 40 officers were called to the scene at Sixth and Chestnut streets, which meant that for “a good hour and a half” there was no police protection elsewhere in the city.

He said city and university police were examining videos of the riot to try to identify the people involved. Further arrests may follow, he said.

“Why were there only four arrests [that night]?” Councilwoman Mary Flynn asked. Maloney said it was because making individual arrests was too risky when the officers were so outnumbered. “It’s dangerous to send one or two officers into a crowd like that,” he said.

The council thanked Maloney and his fellow officers for handling a perilous situation with professionalism.