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Apr 22, 2014 11:03 PM by Lupita Murillo

Tucson Police release melee report

TUCSON - The Tucson Police report from the March 29th melee on University Blvd. following the University of Arizona's loss to Wisconsin in the Elite 8, has been released.

When students poured out of restaurants and bars in Main Gate Square, things got out of hand when they refused to disperse.

Videos of TPD firing pepper balls, and canisters into the crowds soon hit the web. A video that went viral was of a young woman being pushed by a Sergeant Joel Mann. The only report from Sgt. Mann was that he had given details to the office of internal affairs.

Another video that went viral was of a man being pepperballed. According to the report, he first displayed his middle finger and then began to make a gesture as if he was stretching or preparing for some sort of physical activity as he began to walk toward the skirmish line he was addressed by pepperball strikes.

More than 540 pages of documents detail what police say occurred. Most of it has been seen in video, but now there's a report to explain the officers actions.

In the beginning, police reported that the crowd was well behaved, several hours later things took a turn, the crowd refused to disperse.

The police put their gear on, activated the helmet cameras and began to deal with the unruly fans.

The report goes on to say, one officer observed numerous bottles, cans full of liquid and other unknown objects thrown at officers.

Several lit fireworks were also thrown towards officers. Numerous officers were struck by objects thrown by the crowd.

According to one officer's account, Paul Harris was seen picking his bike up over his head several times as if he was going to throw it at officers. He was within 10 feet of officers at the time. The report says the only reason he struggled with officers was because he did not want his bike left behind. Police say he later apologized for his actions

TPD and the Arizona Department of Public Safety is still investigating this incident.

A timeline of the incident was also part of the report. The following is a summary of that information:

7:43 p.m.---Cameras on the helmets of 50 officers were turned on
8:03---end of game
8:25---A small group of people set of smoke bombs at the Sunlink station at University and Tyndall. The crowds get bigger and agitated.
8:27---Cans, bottles and other projectiles thrown at officers, Order to Disperse given
8:33---Continuing orders to disperse. Most refuse.
8:37---officers put on gas masks
8:47---Fireworks thrown at officers.
8:51---No progress being made to disperse the crowd, use of "OC" (pepper spray) canisters authorized
8:52--arrests being made, crowd starts moving back
8:57---additional canisters of "OC" deployed
9:21---University is clear from Park to Euclid, 54 minutes after the crowd became unruly

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