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

Police: More Charges Emerging from State College Riot; Man Threw Cigarette at Gas Leak

on December 02, 2011 3:55 PM

State College police have finalized charges against seven more people involved in the Nov. 9 riot, police Lt. Keith Robb said Friday.

He said that brings to 12 the number of people who have been -- or are about to be -- charged in connection with the riot. Twenty-one others have been identified, and police expect that more individual identifications -- and charges -- will be forthcoming, Robb said.

Some of those charges will be felonies, he said. To date, though, a felony riot charge has been finalized for only one person.

That's Timothy Busovsky, 24, of State College, police said. Authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest; he is expected to turn himself in at an agreed-to time, Robb said.

He said Busovsky, who is not a Penn State student, is facing riot and failure-to-disperse charges, among others.

According to a police account, Busovsky approached a flipped-over television news van with a lit cigarette.

Police said it happened on College Avenue, where the WTAJ vehicle had been toppled by the riotous crowd. The van was leaking gasoline as a result, according to the police report.

Ordered to back away from the vehicle, police said, Busovsky refused. He threw the cigarette toward the roughly 25-gallon gasoline leak and nearby police officers, according to the police report.

He was intoxicated at the time, police said.

Others accused in connection with the riot -- many of them Penn State students -- are facing a number of charges. Some are at the misdemeanor level. Criminal mischief, failure to disperse, and disorderly conduct are among the charges that police have pursued the most.

The riot materialized immediately after the Penn State trustees announced Joe Paterno's dismissal as head coach. Several police officers were reported to have suffered injuries in the melee.

Damage to public property is estimated at $32,000; that figure does not include police-overtime expenses or private-property damage.

Police have posted online a regularly updated image gallery featuring the riot. They're asking the public to help them identify people in those images.

Earlier coverage is available via the links below.

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