EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSMORGANTOWN RIOT ARRESTS
from Eyewitness News Online
Four WVU Students, Two Others Charged In Rioting
Reported by: Associated Press
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Oct. 7, 2012 4:31 PM EDT
Updated: Oct. 12, 2012 9:54 AM EDT
Morgantown, Monongalia County , West Virginia
Morgantown police have arrested four West Virginia University students and two others in the aftermath of last weekend's post-game rioting.
Three are from Maryland, two are West Virginians and one is from Pennsylvania.
With the help of social media, police identified 21-year-old Kathryn Durko of Cokeburg, Pa.; 22-year-old Timothy Watkins of Westminster, Md.; James Richard Zito of Glenelg, Md., and 18-year-old Alexandra Amato of Morgantown.
Charges against the four students include disorderly conduct, and battery and obstruction of an officer.
Police also charged 19-year-old Pursglove resident Nathan Hoopergarner with battery on a government representative or emergency responder, while 39-year-old Vincent Rohrbaugh of Germantown, Md., was charged with public intoxication.
Police say they will be ready with new tactics to handle potential problems after Saturday's football game at Texas Tech.
Morgantown police have gotten at least a dozen solid tips, and detectives are working to confirm the identities of people involved in fires and rioting that followed last weekend's football game.
Chief Ed Preston says this is the first time he's used social media to identify suspects, but it won't be the last.
Police are archiving YouTube videos and social media postings, using many images West Virginia University students posted themselves.
They're also posting images taken by surveillance teams and news media, along with those offered by the general public.
Crowds may once have provided anonymity, but Preston says those days are gone.
Police posted nine photos Wednesday of people either suspected of committing or witnessing crimes.
Preston says it's been more effective than he expected.
With 181 deliberately set fires behind them and more football weekends ahead, Morgantown and West Virginia University have developed new tactics to control rowdy crowds. They just won't say what they are.
Officials met this week in the wake of more than 40 fires set last weekend after WVU's 48-45 win over Texas.
Police Chief Ed Preston says he brought in a crowd-control expert for advice but declined to identify him or discuss his recommendations.
Fire Marshall Ken Tennant, meanwhile, says the city has put out 181 fires so far this year -- 101 street blazes and the other 80 in trash bins.
That's the fourth-highest figure in the 15 years the department has been tracking such fires.
The record is 274 in 2003, followed by 245 fires in 1998.
Five people are behind bars after more than two dozen street and trash container fires broke out in Morgantown after the West Virginia's 48-45 win over Texas.
The fire department responded to 19 street fires and 11 trash fires. Revelers threw debris at several city fire engines, vehicles and officials. In one incident, a light pole was toppled and tossed into a fire.
West Virginia students and their friends regularly start bonfires to celebrate everything from a major sports victory to a semester's end.
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