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A celebration? A mob? Whatever you call it, the latest State Street incident is prompting more handwringing

Lexington Police Department
Lexington Police Department

The University of Kentucky’s win over Florida this weekend, and the resulting unrest on Short Street, are forcing officials to answer new questions about an old problem.

Win or lose, it’s become an unwelcome tradition for some residents and law enforcement: animated UK athletics fans taking over State Street, lighting couches alight, and, most recently, toppling a car. UK Police Chief Joe Monroe says, unfortunately, State Street and other incidents are keeping his department on their toes.

"It's been an unusually busy fall semester for the University of Kentucky when it comes to conduct violations."
UK Police Chief Joe Monroe

Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers says the city and UK police will be doing more work alongside one another in an effort to prevent the trend from continuing.

"We're going to start partnering again and we're going to actively and more affirmatively address some of the things we're seeing before they get out of hand," Weathers told WUKY.

The chief’s message to those responsible for property damage during the recent State Street unrest: "We're going to make sure that they understand that they are going to be held accountable for those kinds of actions."

But the parents of the UK student who had his car overturned, Zach Preston, say neither UK nor the police did enough to stop or deescalate the situation.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton said any violations of the Student Code of Conduct, on or off campus, will lead to investigation and action. Police say they expect to charge individuals in the wake of the latest State Street incident.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.