MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- University of Minnesota officials on Monday defended the methods police used to disperse large and sometimes violent crowds after the Golden Gophers won the NCAA hockey championship Saturday night.
Police say a growing mob of students smashed street lamps and torched furniture for more than six hours after Minnesota's 4-3 overtime victory over Maine, played just miles from campus at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Some students threw rocks and beer bottles at officers.
"We safeguarded property and people," said university Police Chief George Aylward. "If the question is, 'Did we do what we should have done?' We did."
Aylward said he has not received any complaints from students about the use of excessive force.
But some students said police used excessive force to control the crowd, estimated at as many as 600 people. At least 25 people were arrested, and five people remained in jail Monday. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office had until noon Tuesday to decide whether to file felony rioting charges against them.
Dan Kelly, president of the university's Student Association, said the student body was "embarrassed and disappointed by the actions of a few students."
Some students on campus Monday said otherwise.
Junior Chris Bub said he was watching the events with friends from his front lawn on University Avenue when police rushed them and told them to get inside. As they headed indoors, Bub said, police came into his house and started spraying chemical irritant and beating his friends with batons. Bub said he took one friend to the hospital, who was treated and released with a minor concussion.
"A lot of what happened was incited by the police," Bub said. "I wasn't drinking. We were a totally passive group. Nobody said anything to the police. They just came at us. I find it hard to believe that force was necessary."
Samantha Dalager, a freshman, said she witnessed several cases of police "attacking and beating students who were not fighting back in any way" while walking down University Avenue.
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