A popular area to tailgate before Husker football games has come under fire after a party there got out of hand prior to the Nebraska-Miami game.
Indian Center Director Clyde Tyndall says he feels bad about Saturday night when tailgaters at the Indian Center near Memorial Stadium got more than rowdy, nearly tipping over buses, injuring a Lincoln police officer, leading to the arrests of more than a dozen people.
Tyndall says steps will be taken to address the problems.
“It may be a blessing in disguise in that we do something now to avoid anything worse in the future,” Tyndall tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The Indian Center at 10th Street and Military Road has become a popular place to tailgate over the years. It is located near Memorial Stadium. The center charges admission and rents spaces on game day. The money generated funds the center’s activities, according to Tyndall.
A party atmosphere before the big Husker-Hurricane game turned ugly, though on Saturday. Lincoln police estimate the crowd at between 3,000 and 4,000. When buses which had rented space on the Indian Center lot entered, those crowded around their spots refused to yield and began rocking the buses, nearly tipping them over.
Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong says the first officers who responded to the scene were overwhelmed and had to call for back-up as members of the crowd threw beer bottles and cans at cruisers. One officer had to be hospitalized after being hit in the head with a full can of beer.
Lincoln police called on help from the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office as well as the Nebraska State Patrol, which sent a helicopter to the area.
Officers arrested and gave citations to between 13 and 17 people. One has been charged with assaulting an officer, which is a felony.
In all, 30 Lincoln police officers responded, eight Lancaster County deputies, and multiple police dogs with the NSP helicopter overhead. They cleared the area to restore order.
Peschong says he had no choice, but to request help from other agencies.
“But I’m here to tell you that the Lincoln Police Department does not have an awful lot of resources to be able to deal with thousands and thousands of people that have over consumed alcohol,” Perscohong told reporters.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]