Thousands of Penn State students rioted last night, tearing down light poles, throwing rocks and firecrackers at police, and overturning a news truck in a show of anger over the university's trustees firing of coaching legend Joe Paterno, reports the New York Times. “Of course we’re going to riot,” said one aerospace engineering student. “What do they expect when they tell us at 10 o’clock that they fired our football coach?”
Students started gathering peacefully in front of Penn State's main administrative building around 10pm, but as the crowd grew and moved off campus, it also grew more angry and violent. Just before midnight, police lost control of the crowd, and as violence flashed, they responded with pepper spray. Police finally broke up the riot around 1:30am. The owner of one store stood outside of his shop, guarding it from the melee. “I’ve been in State College for 42 years and I’ve never seen anything like this; this is uncharted waters,” he said.