COLLEGE PARK – Police now say no University of Maryland students were among those charged in the riots that followed the Terps’ April 1 NCAA basketball championship win.
Two University of Maryland students were among the 16 people arrested by campus, county and state police after the violence, but they were released before charges were filed, said Cpl. Robert Clark, a Prince George’s County Police spokesman.
“After further investigation, we determined there was not enough to charge them (the two students), so we released them,” Clark said.
Of the 14 who have been charged so far, three were juveniles and police refused to release any details on them.
The April 1 celebrations cost the College Park community roughly $50,000 in damages, cleanup costs and preventive measures, said City Manager Richard Conti. U.S. Route 1 was blocked for hours after thousands of fans flooded Fraternity Row and nearby areas after the Terps’ win over Indiana’s Hoosiers.
Most of the damages were to private businesses near campus, Conti said, including to a bike store that lost several thousand dollars in stolen and destroyed merchandise. He estimated damages to city property at about $5,000.
“We’ll just have to absorb it,” Conti said.
University of Maryland Police arrested eight people, including the three juveniles, said University Police Capt. Paul Dillon. The adults charged by campus police were:
— Paul Bunn, 22, of Savage, and Melissa Foster, 18, of Laurel, for disorderly conduct;
— Peter Barbera, 23, of Crofton, for three counts of destruction of property;
— Vincent Mosher, 21, of Gaithersburg, for first-degree assault, trespassing and disorderly intoxication;
— and Matthew McCormick, 18, of Owings, for second-degree assault.
County police charged Rodney Rumper, 29, of Bowie, Joel Pannell, 24, of Greenbelt, and Jose Martinez, 22, of Brentwood, with burglary in connection with the break-in at a bike shop on Knox Road in College Park.
They also charged John Hoffman, 21, of Miami, Fla., and Christopher Balog, 25, of Owings Mills, with disorderly conduct, Clark said.
Maryland State Police arrested Brien Sommers, 21, of Olney, and charged him with second-degree assault for allegedly striking an officer in the mouth with a 2-by-4 board.
Clark said investigators continue to examine footage from surveillance cameras to identify rioters. “As we identify them, we will take further steps,” he said.
The university is working with police to identify individuals from the April 1 footage, said university spokesman George Cathcart. “If we do discover any students who were involved, there will be penalties,” he said.
Last year, the university was powerless to punish four students arrested after a NCAA Final Four riot on Route 1, because the student code of conduct did not allow students to be penalized for off-campus misdemeanors. That has changed, Cathcart said.
“The student code of conduct has been revised,” he said. “We can impose penalties now.”
Cathcart said punishment would depend on the offense, but could include expulsion. — Distributed by Capital News Service.