One Person Seriously Injured in Riot During Iowa State's Annual VEISHEA Celebration

AMES, Iowa — Riots broke out overnight during the VEISHEA celebration at Iowa State University. The annual student celebration of spring has had a troubled history, and it bubbled up again overnight. Students in Ames gathered on the streets around campus at around 11 p.m. Tuesday. Police said students flipped over at least two cars then they pulled out two light poles, four stop signs and shattered one of the fire station windows. Rioters filled the streets, according to police, stretching about a block and a half from Stanton Avenue to Lincoln Way, some of them on top of nearby buildings, throwing off beer cans, fireworks and rocks. At least one person was seriously injured and flown to a Des Moines hospital after a light pole fell on his head. A handful of other students were also injured. Police arrested several students and were finally able to break it up about an hour after it started. "We weren't getting much cooperation early on in getting anyone to leave and you know, when we get the objects thrown at us, it gets pretty dangerous for the officers," said Police Cmdr. Geoff Huff. Police are asking for the public's' help in identifying those responsible for damage in the riot. ISU President Steven Leath released a statement early Wednesday. "We are all distraught and disappointed over the events that have unfolded... I can confirm one of our students has been seriously injured... At this time, I ask everyone to keep this student in your thoughts and prayers. My senior cabinet will convene first thing in the morning to assess this situation and evaluate options for the remainder of our official Veisha activities planned for this week." A riot in 2004 during the VEISHEA celebration caused more than $200,000 damage and led to the celebration's cancellation in 2005.
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