The Daily Gamecock

Police cuff 29 students during Clemson game

Wristband shortage creates chaos at gates


A shortage of wristbands for admission to lower-deck seating led to a confrontation between police and students at Saturday’s Carolina–Clemson game, according to a police report from USC’s Division of Law Enforcement and Safety.

One complaint has been filed against Major James Miles of the USC Police Department, said Eric Grabski, spokesman for USC’s Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, and some students say they are pressing charges. The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the complaint, Grabski said.

Twenty-nine students were arrested and taken in to custody at the game. Police charged 22 students with public disorderly conduct, and most of the arrests were alcohol-related, Grabski said. A use of force statement, written by Major Irick

Geary of USCPD, states that officers were arresting unruly students who were angrily trying to force their way into the stadium, and that some students were knocked down during the mayhem. But some students have complained of an excessive use of force both in interviews and on social media.

Geary recounted that students were directed to Gates 23 and 25 after wristbands ran out at Gate 26. But Gate 25 was also out of wristbands, and Geary reported seeing about 150 students attempting to force their way through the gate, yelling ‘push’ as event staff and officers tried to close it.

More officers arrived and arrested several students, bike rack barricades were turned over and a couple of female students were knocked to the ground, his report states, adding that none of the students reported injuries.

The crowd then moved to the Gate 23, the last entryway to the lower deck, and officers repositioned bike racks to better control the crowd in anticipation of wristbands running out again. They did, and officers began redirecting students to Gate 18 to sit in the upper deck.

“As we continued to issue orders for the crowd to disperse, several subjects continued to yell ‘bull----’ and ‘push,’ and a mob began to push against the gates,” Geary said. “Several of the instigators were taken into custody.”

Grabski and Chris L. Wuchenich, director of the Division of Law Enforcement and Safety, said they couldn’t comment extensively on the issue due to the complaint, which was filed by Ryan Dul, a third-year accounting student.

Dul was arrested for public disorderly conduct at the game and sent to the hospital. He spent the night at Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. Dul sent The Daily Gamecock pictures of minor cuts and scrapes on his face and knee which he said were caused by Miles throwing him down on the concrete and his face sliding against the ground. He estimates his medical bills, including a charge for a CT scan, could be significant.

Dul has contacted a defense attorney and is also considering pressing charges. Dul’s story of his arrest differs from Geary’s report.

Dul said the arrest occurred as officers were trying to move students away from Gate 23 and close it. He said his friend was walking by an officer when her jacket caught on his handgun and the officer threw her to the ground, reaggravating a sprained ankle. Another friend began walking toward the officer to ask what he was doing, and Dul said he reached out his hand to pull the friend back. Dul says he then felt an officer’s hand on his shoulder.

“The next thing I know I’m being thrown down and I’m on all fours, and when I’m on all fours I feel myself being forced into the ground,” Dul said. “As soon as [Miles] stood me up, I could see in his face that he knew he did that incorrectly.”

Dul said he was taken to a paramedic, who told him to go to the hospital to check for a head injury. He said another friend was ticketed and another taken into custody. Dul says two who were injured are considering pressing charges but, like himself, mostly want their own charges dropped.

“It wasn’t my decision to go to hospital, so I feel my medical bills should be paid,” Dul said. “If the university will drop my charges and pays my medical bills, I’ll be content with that. Maybe throw in a copy of the game or something like that. I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I went through, and I want the university to understand how serious of an issue this is.”

Geary’s report states that, despite the arrest only being for disorderly conduct, Dul was also resisting arrest and interfering with the arrest of another student. The report goes on to say despite Miles telling Dul to stop and putting himself between Dul and others, Dul did not desist.

“Dul grabbed Major Miles’ torso area yelling, ‘F--- that,’ and other obscenities,” Geary said.

Geary says Dul, about 6 foot 4 inches and 225 pounds, assumed a fighting stance, resisted arrest, had to be taken to the ground and wouldn’t stop until Miles placed a Taser at his back and warned him that he would be tased if he didn’t stop.

Geary states he recognized Dul to be under the influence of alcohol.

Dul denied that he was resisting arrest, that he touched Miles and that he was impaired by alcohol. He said he didn’t remember a Taser being put to his back.

Grabski said that USCPD conducted 68 total arrests at games last football season, compared to 114 this football season. The arrests only include areas inside the stadium and the adjacent parking lot, Grabski said. Grabski said he would “definitely” not consider this season worse concerning arrests, and that the increase was caused by streamlined processes for addressing issues.

“Number one, we’re all about safety, and number two, we’re all about improving our processes, whether that’s arrests or something else,” Grabski said. “Faster processing allows officer to return to post faster than before.”