This past Sunday, Oct. 28, the University of Rhode Island student body celebrated as the Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games to win the World Series.
According to URI Police, a crowd of about 700 to 1,000 students flooded the streets of URI to celebrate the championship. They proceeded to move through the streets, chanting and raving over the win. The students moved all over campus, going to places like the Quadrangle, Meade Stadium and even moving through Bressler and Hillside Halls.
Two people were arrested. Anthony Luna, 20, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct for fighting. Luna is not a URI student. He began fighting with another person when he was apprehended by officers and began to resist commands from the officers to cease fighting and was tasered. Luna was processed by URI Police and was issued a formal trespass notice, forbidding him from returning to the URI campus for a year. He was also issued a District Courts summons to appear on Nov. 14.
The second person was Jacob Kopacz. Kopacz, 18, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. He was spotted removing a parking sign from the ground and swinging it in front of a crowd of around 300 people, according to URI Police. He also resisted arrest from officers initially. Kopacz was processed by URI Police and was released with a District Court summons to appear on Nov. 14.
Public Safety Director, Stephen Baker, was tasked with preparing for the celebrations in case the Red Sox won. Since the beginning of the MLB playoffs, Baker began preparing for an event such as this. “We were actually prepared when the Red Sox and the Yankees played because that’s more of a rivalry and we were prepared for people to come out and celebrate and not too many people came out,” Baker said.
Major Michael Jagoda of URI Police worked with Baker to create a safe environment for students to come out and show their emotion. He created many safety barriers to ensure that students would be able to move safely around campus, including blocking off Butterfield Road to prevent pedestrians being struck by vehicles and having officers monitor the movements of the crowd as they moved across campus.
Aside from the two students that were arrested, Jagoda feels the student body was very respectful towards the officers on duty that night. Students interacted with the officers in a respectful and orderly manner. “I think that has a lot to do with our community policing philosophy and a lot of our students engage our officers,” Jagoda said. “Our officers are very accessible and come to a lot of our community policing events and I think that’s key.”
Sophomore Colin Cleary was in the crowd after the game and he felt the atmosphere was very positive after the game and enjoyed celebrating with his fellow students. “It was energetic but chaotic,” Cleary said. “The overall atmosphere was panicked but in a happy way. Seeing people being happy on an accomplishment from a team that has really grown over the past couple of years was really cool to see.”