A gathering of hundreds on Morgantown’s Spruce street was dispersed by police on Friday, a snow day for WVU students. 

“We had winter sports activities that turned into criminal behavior and violence,” said Morgantown Police Chief Ed Preston. “They started attacking city workers as they plowed the streets.”

Preston said the crowd, which he estimated to be made up of 750 to 900 people, threw items including beer bottles and rocks.

The Morgantown Police Department, WVU Police Department and the Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department were all on scene.

Warnings were given to the crowd, and some crowd members lit a fire. When a long-range acoustic device was used against the crowd, many chanted back at it. 

Preston said smoke grenades were then deployed.

Large portions of the crowd left through the smoke clouds, and several students danced in the street before leaving.

Preston said no arrests were made. 

A Morgantown press release said there was one person who was reported to have received a contusion during this incident. This person did not require emergency medical treatment. 

Three officers deployed pepper ball munitions, according to the Morgantown press release. The officers fired at the buildings from where projectiles were being thrown, and they targeted the building above the people so the powder would fall on those below.

This can be be seen in a video captured by the Daily Athenaeum.

On February 1st, almost 1000 people gathered on Spruce Street for winter activities. What began as a day of sledding, snowboarding, and drinki…

Preston had told the DA in an interview that no chemical munitions were used.

In a social media post, WVU wrote that officers would review videos to see if any charges should be filed. 

News sources across the country published stories about the Spruce Street gathering, which police had declared a riot. Articles appeared in The Washington Post, CBS News, Fox News and more.

Editor in Chief

Douglas Soule is the editor-in-chief for the Daily Athenaeum. He previously served as assistant news editor at the Daily Athenaeum. He has interned at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, The Globe Post and the Daily Athenaeum. He is a senior at WVU.