UCLA students who burned couches and took to the streets of Westwood following the men’s basketball team’s overtime loss to Gonzaga in a national semifinal game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament are facing potential punishment from the court system and the university Sunday.
Two men were taken into police custody Saturday night in Westwood. The Daily Bruin reported that UCLA students were setting fire to chairs on Roebling Avenue about 9 p.m. The students then walked south on Kelton Avenue but were blocked by police at Strathmore Drive, near Veteran Avenue, according to the Daily Bruin.
Officers contained the crowd and held rubber bullet guns while the crowd dispersed.
The Beverly Hills Courier showed video on its Twitter account of two young men wearing handcuffs and being walked by officers toward police cars.
The names of the arrestees were not immediately released.
Officers at the Los Angeles Police Department’s Operations Center said at 10:45 p.m. that the officers assigned to the campus had left.
Many of the students involved did not wear masks or socially distance, according to the Daily Bruin.
“While we share the Bruin community’s disappointment with the outcome of tonight’s game, we are dismayed by those individuals who chose to engage in misconduct and risk their own health and the health of others by gathering in large groups in violation of Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines,” UCLA said in a statement issued Saturday.
“For privacy reasons, we cannot comment on any individual UCLA disciplinary matters. But all UCLA students and student organizations are subject to the Student Conduct Code and UCLA Public Health mitigation requirements. Any student or student organization found responsible for a violation is subject to a range of disciplinary actions.”
A letter was sent to all UCLA students Friday from athletic director Martin Jarmond and Monroe Gorden, Jr., the vice chancellor, student affairs, encouraging “everyone to watch and celebrate this weekend’s game in a manner that creates a safe and respectful experience for all of our students and fans.”
“After the recent Elite Eight victory, we unfortunately witnessed members of our community gathering in large groups, in violation of (Los Angeles County Department of Public Health) guidelines,” the letter said. “Please remember that student violations of LACDPH guidelines may lead to disciplinary action from the UCLA Dean of Students Office.”
The letter also asked students planning to watch CBS’ telecast of the game to “do so responsibly by wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing of 6 feet and washing your hands regularly. Also, it is important to be mindful of guidelines related to the number of individuals who may legally gather together.”
UCLA students took to the rooftops and streets around campus following the Bruins’ 51-49 victory over top-seeded Michigan in the East Regional final Tuesday that put UCLA in the Final Four for the first time since 2008.
Couches were pulled out into streets and set on fire in the school’s fraternity row and a large crowd of students gathered on top of a dormitory building near Strathmore Place and Landfair Avenue.
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