Cops cracking down on OSU fans tailgating

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 3, 2003

COLUMBUS -- City and Ohio State police cracking down on alcohol violations issued 80 citations and arrested at least five people tailgating around Ohio Stadium during the Buckeyes' season opener against Washington.

The two police forces have adopted a stricter tailgating policy recommended by a joint university-city task force formed to study the riots that followed Ohio State's victory over Michigan last November.

City police cited 60 people Saturday for carrying open containers of alcohol in public and nine for public indecency. Four tickets were related to underage people attempting to buy or drink alcohol and seven others were for violations ranging from disorderly conduct to littering. Police said a few arrests were made but the numbers were not available Tuesday.

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''If we had more officers, we could have cited more people,'' police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio said Tuesday. ''A lot of people feel they are entitled to go ahead and drink beer in an open container when they are out on the streets.''

Campus police -- who have said they would issue warnings instead of tickets during the first three football games -- issued 275 advisories, 133 warnings and made five arrests for disorderly conduct, said Amy Murray, a university spokeswoman.

Campus police enter the names of people who receive warnings into a database and repeat offenders will be cited, Murray said.