State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Police: 42 People Identified in State College Riot Probe; 23 Charged -- So Far

on December 08, 2011 6:10 PM

State College police have now identified 42 people in connection with the Nov. 9 downtown riot, Lt. Keith Robb announced Thursday.

He said 23 of those have already been charged, many of them for failure to disperse or for disorderly conduct.

Charges against 16 of the 42 are pending. Charges against three people will be formalized soon, Robb said.

Meanwhile, he added, an investigation to identify more people involved in the riot is ongoing. The melee, which drew an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 people, led to officer injuries and a variety of property damage.

Damage to public property has been estimated in the $30,000 range. Private-property damage estimates are higher than that. More than a half-dozen private vehicles were reported to have been damaged -- including a WTAJ news truck.

The news truck, flipped over by several people, sustained damages estimated in the $100,000 range, Robb said. He said a number of items -- including a microphone stand, a microphone flag, a scanner, a global-positioning device and a sun reflector -- were stolen from the WTAJ vehicle.

As many as six people may be charged with felony riot offenses in connection with the news-truck damage, according to police. All six are Penn State students, a police document shows. Robb said at least four of them are expected to appear for an arraignment Monday in State College.

Of the 23 people charged thus far, 20 are Penn State students, police documents show. The 16 people faced with pending charges are all Penn State students. And the three to be charged soon include two Penn State students, as well.

Authorities are still encouraging the public to visit the State College police website, where riot images continue to be posted. The police have sought the public's help in identifying people seen in those images.

"There's no reason to stop right now," Robb said. "The momentum is there, and we're continuing to get information."

He estimated that three people are being identified each day.

"We're interviewing people as we speak," Robb said Thursday afternoon. " ... We're obviously trying to (pursue) this hard before (students) leave for" Penn State's Winter Break.

Final-exams week at the university will begin Monday.

The riot materialized immediately after the Penn State trustees announced the firing of now-former football Coach Joe Paterno and the departure of now-former university President Graham Spanier. Earlier coverage is posted via the pages linked below.

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