Students block street, jump on cars after in-person classes canceled over coronavirus fears
- Hundreds of students took to the streets in Dayton, Ohio Tuesday night, prompting police to respond.
- The students blocked streets, threw objects, and jumped on cars, according to reports.
- Responding officers used pepper balls to help disperse the crowd.
Students at the University of Dayton in Ohio took to the streets Tuesday resulting in a tense clash with police after the school announced plans to cancel in-person classes due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Flyer News, UD's student newspaper reported that hours after the school announced the in-person class cancellations and instructed students to leave university housing over concerns stemming from the coronavirus, as many as 1,0000 students blocked streets near the campus, jumped on cars, and threw objects, prompting a police response. Responding officers reportedly used pepper balls to disperse the crowd after verbal orders to the students to leave were unsuccessful. Flyer News posted video of the chaotic scene.
UD students gathered in large crowds on Lowes Street in the South Student Neighborhood Tuesday night in reaction to the news that university housing would close Wednesday for most students due to the spread of the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/82XL9uCR04— Flyer News (@FlyerNews) March 11, 2020
We have video of police officers shooting what appears to be non-lethal weapons at students. pic.twitter.com/kgSasTUtC6— Flyer News (@FlyerNews) March 11, 2020
Video that shows students blocking Lowes Street. This was before any police action. pic.twitter.com/EX3CK0pQpU— Flyer News (@FlyerNews) March 11, 2020
UD police announcement ordering any student still outside to disperse pic.twitter.com/i5GhbXihhf— Flyer News (@FlyerNews) March 11, 2020
It's unclear as to why students gathered in the streets, although WDTN-TV in Dayton reported some students claimed to be celebrating in-person classes being canceled.
"A large disorderly crowd that grew to more than 1,000 people gathered on Lowe's Street starting around 11 p.m., throwing objects and bottles in the street and at police, and jumping on cars. Police gave verbal orders to disperse, which were ignored. Police initially launched pepper ball, which contain powder with an irritant that disperses quickly that were unsuccessful in reducing the crowd size. About 2:15 a.m. UD police and additional Dayton police again gave orders to disperse and moved to clear the street, which was effective in dispersing the crowd quickly. At least one person was reportedly injured by a thrown bottle," the university told Flyer News.