'Riot conditions' described near WVU campus

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WV MetroNews) -- A situation is developing on Spruce Street near the campus of West Virginia University involving a significant congregation of people and police.

Morgantown Police are attempting to disperse a significant crowd, possibly a large party with smoke canisters. The situation was described to Dominion Post reporter Will Dean as “riot conditions.”

Additional reporting from the scene indicates a mattress was set on fire.

West Virginia University has been closed due to a combination of frigid temperatures and snow since Wednesday afternoon.

WVU released the following statement Friday evening:

"It is unfortunate that what began today on Spruce Street as a playful time in the snow, turned into a dangerous and threatening situation for students and law enforcement officers alike.

"The escalation apparently began when the several hundred students and others who had gathered refused reasonable instructions to disperse and began tossing glass bottles and other debris toward officers, resulting in law enforcement taking action.

"University officials will review videos of the situation to determine if any charges should be filed.

"We remind our students that our actions should represent our Mountaineer values. Behave responsibly, be accountable and please comply with police, who want to keep our campus, city and all of our first responders safe through this weather."

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