University Of Oregon Police Investigating Snowball Fight As Possible Criminal Act

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EUGENE, Ore. (CBS Seattle) — The University of Oregon is determining whether a snowball fight turned criminal after students began pelting moving cars at an intersection.

Video uploaded on YouTube by the Daily Emerald – the university’s student newspaper – shows students, including football players, throwing snowballs at moving cars and even dumping a tub filled with snow on one motorist.

“The University of Oregon Police Department is investigating an incident, captured on video, in which a passing vehicle was the target of snowballs thrown by young people in an area on the UO campus,” Paul Shang, the university’s dean of students, said in a statement. “Police hope to determine the identities of those who were throwing snowballs, whether they are UO students and whether their actions constitute a criminal act.”

Shang stated that students will face consequences if they are found to be criminally negligible.

“Consequences are clear for those whose actions reflect poorly upon the university or violate its standards for student behavior,” Shang said. “However, until the facts of the snowball-throwing incident are sorted out, it would be premature to speculate about any potential outcomes in the case.”

University of Oregon head football coach Mark Helfrich called the snowball fight “unacceptable and dangerous.”

“On Saturday, I was made aware of an incident that occurred Friday afternoon during the snow day involving multiple Oregon students including members of the football team,” Helfrich said in a statement to the Emerald. “The behavior exhibited in the video is completely unacceptable and dangerous. We take this matter very seriously and disciplinary actions have begun.”

Offensive lineman Andre Yruretagoyena apologized for the incident.

“Embarrassed by the video I just watched,” he posted on Twitter. “That’s not all of us, sending the sincerest apologies.”

Student Liana Lis said the snowball fight deteriorated after people began throwing at cars.

“At the time I had been in the snowball fight it was totally fun and it was cool because the people were there who wanted to participate,” Lis told the Emerald. “But then they started throwing it at cars and I had the gut instinct that it was just wrong and it got uncomfortable.”

The YouTube video of the snowball fight has been viewed more than 2 million times.

No charges have yet to be filed.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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