Fight At XU’s Cintas Center Fouls MLK Day Classic

Lynn Giroud, WCPO-TV (Cincinnati), Jan. 15, 2007

A Martin Luther King Day basketball tournament at Xavier University’s Cintas Center turned violent when fights broke out.

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This was the second year for the MLK Day basketball classic with six teams and three games in a day-long tournament attended by 6,500 high school students.

But after the second game, while a rap concert was starting, police say a couple of fights broke out.

“It was described to me as four or five people who got into an argument,” said Kelly Leon, an XU spokesperson.

“There was pushing, shoving, throwing punches and throwing food and as they were fighting,” said Leon. “More people gathered around so it looked bigger than it was.”

“Every time you looked up, a bunch of crowds and people were running and saw officers running to see what was going on,” said one teen. “So, it seemed like fights everywhere.”

Several other fights did break out, and even though there were 32 Cincinnati, Norwood and campus police officers already on duty at the event, dozens more officers were called-in.

They managed to quell the escalating violence and the final game between Withrow and Winton Woods went on.

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Last year after the basketball classic, extra police were also called-in for crowd control but there were no arrests.

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