15 arrested after rowdy Spartan celebrations

15 arrested after rowdy Spartan celebrations

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(WJBK) -

Celebrations got out of hand in East Lansing following Michigan State's big win Saturday over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship game.

Police say thousands of students got rowdy at a large bonfire after the win. 15 people have been arrested, including 12 MSU students, one MSU graduate and two individuals with unknown affiliation. The city of Lansing says public safety officials also responded to at least 57 fires following the game.

No. 10 MSU defeated No. 2 Ohio State 34-24, earning its first Rose Bowl appearance in a quarter-century.

East Lansing police and Michigan State University are now offering up to $20,000 in reward money for tips that lead to the conviction of those involved in the civil disturbance.

You can share tips in the following ways:
 + Calling 1-877-ELPD-TIP
 + ELPDtips@elpolice.com
 + www.facebook.com/EastLansingPD.

A fundraiser has also been set up for a student whose car was flipped over and damaged by the crowd.
Online: http://www.gofundme.com/5nn8ug

VIDEO: Hear from that student and others in a report from Fox 2's Robin Schwartz, or read the report below

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We caught up with senior Steve Ripley hoofing it on this blustery day because, for him, the wild Spartan celebration ended like this. Witnesses saw eight people flip his '95 Honda Civic on to its roof. Spartan fans turning on one of their own for apparently no reason.

"My car is pretty much ruined because it was upside down and the engine kind of, all the fluid and stuff mixed in. My windshield was damaged and basically the cost repair is just way more than the car is actually worth," he says.

Steve needs the car to get to and from his job at a restaurant. He saved up and bought it sophomore year but this rowdy crowd didn't care about any of that. Police have arrested 15 people so far and they're offering up to $20,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of others involved.

"The Michigan State police from the university, East Lansing police, are all reviewing tapes and footage to make certain that we can identify people who engaged in that behavior, the malicious destruction of property, the starting of fires and there was even debris that was thrown at police officers," says George Lahanas, East Lansing city manager.

The city manager says of the 15 arrests, 12 are MSU students. One is a graduate student, and two appear to be outsiders. We're told there was at least 57 fires early Sunday morning and two to 3,000 people gathered in Cedar Village to throw mattresses, bicycles and other items into this huge fire. Police in riot gear dispersed the crowd.

"I don't feel that it's anyone's right to destroy someone's property like they did with his car," says Karen Wood.

Students like her are outraged and embarrassed. They say this does not represent the vast majority of students. That's why she started an online fundraiser to help Steve, who she's never met.

"I knew that if just a couple people donated a couple dollars here and there, he'd have something to kind of say, 'We're sorry and we have your back,'" Wood continues.

"She just started this thing and I was just amazed how many people came forward and donated," Steve says.

At the time of this report more than three thousand dollars had been donated. Steve says the victory turned his world upside down. He's experienced the good, the bad and the ugly all at once.

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