A Penn State University tailgate party was buzzed by a helicopter, sending debris flying everywhere, and it was captured on video.
The college said it will stop using helicopters to make announcements outside of the school stadium in State College, Pennsylvania after the police chopper flew low over an unruly crowd, The Associated Press reported on Oct. 2.
“In the aftermath of the deployment of game day safety and security measures the decision has been made to discontinue use of a helicopter to make crowd announcements at football games pending an assessment,” Penn State police said in a statement on Oct. 2, according to StateCollege.com. “We will continue to confer with state police, and evaluate steps taken, which is our normal practice.”
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it is investigating a complaint about the helicopter incident during last weekend’s game against Ohio State.
Police told AP that the pilot was trying to get low to the ground so that people could hear orders to disperse.
Officials told WFMZ they first tried to use a team on horseback to get the crowd to disperse, but the tailgaters didn’t listen to their commands. That’s when they deployed the helicopter.
“It is rare to resort to these expanded interventions at Penn State; however, when all other warnings from the mounted police unit and officers on the ground were ignored, a Pennsylvania State Police helicopter was deployed as another tool to compel the group to disperse and curb dangerous and unruly behavior,” university police told ESPN. “Following the use of the helicopter, the dangerous behaviors dissipated.”
ESPN reported that 21-year-old Joseph Michael Oleynik of Derwood, Maryland, was arrested for a felony charge of taunting or striking a police animal in the incident. He was charged with other misdemeanor counts.