Dozens of fires, 15 arrests in East Lansing - WNEM TV 5

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Should police pursue the man who held 'Burn the Couch' sign at MSU game?

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A screen shot of the mayhem. A screen shot of the mayhem.
TV5's Andrew Keller being stiff-armed by former MSU and NFL running back T.J. Duckett on Saturday. TV5's Andrew Keller being stiff-armed by former MSU and NFL running back T.J. Duckett on Saturday.
EAST LANSING, MI (WNEM + AP) -

Police in East Lansing are pursuing the man who was seen holding up a sign that read 'Burn the Couch' at the Big Ten Championship Game between MSU and Ohio State in Indianapolis on Saturday.

That decision to pursue him is raising skepticism among many, including the mayor of East Lansing.

East Lansing police say at least 15 people were arrested during a rowdy celebration of Michigan State's victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game.

The police department's weekend report says 12 people were students and one was an alumnus. East Lansing police say there were at least 57 fires, especially in a neighborhood of apartments just off the eastern edge of campus.

There were three major fires in the Cedar Village area, which were fueled by things like shrubs, dumpster fencing, mattresses, clothing, bikes, trees and fire extinguishers. Responding officers had rocks, frozen beer cans, glass bottles, horseshoes and numerous other items thrown at them.

The Lansing State Journal posted video online showing thousands of revelers cheering loudly as a couch was tossed on a fire. The street scenes early Sunday occurred after the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes and earned a Rose Bowl bid.

Michigan State President Lou Anna Simon says the behavior was disappointing. Simon went on to allegedly describe the rioters "jerks" on WJR morning radio. Miles away in Ypsilanti, police reported two couch fires related to the game.

On Monday, the East Lansing Police Department and Michigan State University Police said they are offering up to $20,000 in reward money for information leading to the conviction of those involved in the civil disturbance following the MSU/Ohio State football game this past weekend.

Tips can be shared via ELPDtips@elpolice.com, 1-877-ELPD-TIP or www.facebook.com/EastLansingPD.

The total cost of this civil disturbance is yet to be determined.

TV5 wants to know, do you think that police should pursue criminal charges against the man seen holding up the sign? Sound off on the TV5 Facebook page.

Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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