Clean-up in Lexington after Final Four celebrations


by WHAS11

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 1 at 8:50 PM

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Chaos erupted during the Wildcats post game celebration in Lexington.

A crowd of Wildcat fans filled the streets near the University of Kentucky’s campus Saturday night after the team beat the University of Louisville in the Final Four, 69-61. Reports of cars being flipped over and lit on fire and couches burned are among the myriad of problems police had to combat.

Riot police were called in and had to use non-lethal force to contain the rowdy fans.  Jared Smith says he got shot by a rubber bullet.

“[I got hit] right in the back,” said Smith.

Andy Ciammaichella is a student at UK and lives on State Street, where Lexington Police say most of the problems were reported. Sunday morning, Ciammaichella looked in disbelief at the aftermath on his block one day after the game.

“Everybody culminated on this street,” said Ciammaichella. “It became the epicenter. It was out of control.” 

There were broken bottles, turned over grills and damaged cars that remained in his neighborhood, where police say mostly students reside, but hundreds more came to celebrate.

“I'm kind of upset honestly,” said Ciammaichella. “This is my street. I love my street.”

By Sunday morning, there were still a lot of trash in the yards. Lexington Police say if the trash is not cleaned in 24 hours, the property owners will receive a $100 - $1,000 citation.

But, not all the trash is bad for some.

“I live in the campus area,” said George O’Kuly, who is a permanent resident on Virginia Avenue. “So when they're all partying. What I’ll do is go pick up their cans.”

O'Kuly makes a about a $70 for every 100 pounds of cans he gives to a local recycling center.

Now, the neighborhood near State Street will have to prepare for another round of possible celebrations as UK heads to the NCAA Championship Monday night.

Lexington Police say there were about 20 people arrested in connection with the celebration near campus. Officials with the department say they will have the first and third shift officers work twelve hour shifts Monday and have second shift officers handle crowd control for the game, which is the same operation they had on Saturday.

Police say there were no reported injuries.