Police launch ‘pepper balls’ at UD students partying in student neighborhood

DAYTON — Police launched pepper balls at University of Dayton students who gathered in the student neighborhood Tuesday night after the school announced it was cancelling classes until at least early April.

More than 1,000 students gathered on Lowes Street by late Tuesday.

Students jumped on cars, threw bottles into the street and at police, the University of Dayton said in a written statement.

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Police were ignored when they told students to disperse and launched pepper balls -- which student reports indicated to be tear gas.

The crowd began to clear around 2:15 a.m.

One person was injured by a thrown bottle.

“At first it was just some of our friends who are seniors all getting together and hanging out on Lowes before we had to go away for about three weeks or more. And then it kind of escalated,” senior Lena Richardson said.

“We just started to make this day a Friday, basically -- make this day a Friday, we just started to party on Lowes Street,” Jhonson Francis, a junior at UD said. “At the end of the day, we ended up getting tear gassed.”

Several students expressed disbelief in police’s response to the scene.

“We were all kind of shocked, being gassed was kind of crazy. Its one of the last nights I have on campus as a senior; I'm just trying to make the best of it,” Chris Rose said.

“Police kind of took it the wrong way and started gassing everyone. We were all coughing. Several people had to come inside my house to recover from it,” said Richardson.

UD announced in person class suspension beginning 8 a.m. March 11. Online courses are to begin March 23, lasting until April 6.

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“I mean I think this is just a community coming together, we're all going to miss each other a whole lot. I think its really sad we're getting sent home because what we’ve come here to do is to learn,” student Audrey Muck said.

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