Police step up enforcement for Homecoming weekend

30 fans were arrested for rushing Faurot Field after the game.
Columbia Police Department officer Mike Cavener directs traffic at the corner of Elm and Sixth streets Saturday during the Homecoming parade. After the Tigers' victory over Oklahoma later that day, 30 students were arrested for rushing the field.

The MU Police Department and the Columbia Police Department worked over the Homecoming weekend to keep Columbia under control amidst the frenzied campus-wide celebration.

According to a CPD news release, between 5 p.m. Friday and noon Sunday, the police received a total of 113 calls. The calls ranged from disturbance violations to shots fired and traffic accidents. The busiest time frame for CPD was between 7 p.m. Saturday and midnight, with 34 calls made to the police department.

During the football game, fans were told over the loudspeaker that rushing the field was not allowed and could result in arrest.

MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer said MUPD and the Missouri State Highway Patrol were on hand to control the field after the game. Thirty fans were arrested on trespassing charges for storming the field.

“The ones we arrested were the ones we were able to get to and make the arrests safely,” Weimer said.

No Tasers or Tripwires were used during the arrests, Weimer said.

Weimer said this is not only a law issue but, more importantly, a safety concern.

“Someone broke their leg coming down to the field,” Weimer said. “That’s why it’s important not to do that. People get trampled, and someone could get hurt even worse next time.”

Missouri Student Association Senate Speaker Evan Wood said he understands MUPD’s concern for fans’ safety, but said he did not agree with the arrests.

“It’s understandable that the police don’t want us to rush the field, because it’s a safety issue,” Wood said. “But it’s just flat-out wrong that the university is profiting from selling photos of the students rushing the field but still have them arrested and charged for trespassing.”

Weimer said this was not the first incident of fans rushing the field, and the police department has made as many as 70 arrests at past games.

CPD, while not as involved with security inside Memorial Stadium, increased presence in the downtown area.

“We had extra patrol officers working downtown along with the Downtown Unit, the Mounted Unit, Street Crimes Unit and the regular beat officers,” CPD spokeswoman Jill Wieneke said in an e-mail.

Eight shots fired calls were reported to CPD, but only two investigations showed evidence of actual gunfire. According to CPD, bullets struck two homes on Jewell Avenue Friday evening, but no injuries were reported.

The other incident was the early morning robbery of the Break Time store on Nifong Boulevard, where Aaron Hobson was shot and killed.

According to CPD, the department received 52 total disturbance calls and 30 peace disturbance calls. In an e-mail, Wieneke said a disturbance call could refer to anything from a physical fight or a loud argument to someone waving a gun. A peace disturbance call, however, refers more specifically to loud music or yelling.

“I don’t have a breakdown of disturbance location but I can tell you they were all over,” CPD spokeswoman Jessie Haden said in an e-mail. “The busiest times were between 11 p.m. and probably 2 a.m.”

There were eight arrests made by CPD over the weekend, half of which were for intoxicated driving. Haden said the weekend’s arrest count could be misleading at first glance.

“Violations (arrests) were low because we had too many people downtown to tie up officers and had to let some things slide,” Haden said.

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