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Dozens arrested in unruly Olympic celebration

Revelry turned violent Saturday in Salt Lake City, causing minor property damage.  

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (CNN) -- Olympic partying turned violent Saturday after late-night revelers tried to evade security to get into a beer tent before it closed, police said.

At least 30 people were arrested after the crowd tried to force its way into Bud World, which was set up for the 2002 Winter Games festivities, Detective Dwayne Baird said.

Between 75 and 100 police in full riot gear regained control of the area after deploying what they called "nonlethal crowd dispersal devices."

Baird said he didn't know what kind of devices were used but that they would not injure the crowd.

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"There were lots of people that were trying to get into that area, but they were not able to get through the magnetometers and the bag checks fast enough for them apparently," said Baird, who estimated a crowd of 2,500.

Some climbed fences in an attempt to get into Bud World before it shut down at midnight, Baird said.

"This is the last night of this kind of party atmosphere in the downtown area, and with the Olympics coming to a close [Sunday] night, there were just people trying to get in that venue," Baird said.

The crowd caused some property damage in the area, including breaking several windows of nearby establishments and tipping over portable bathrooms.

Video of the scene showed several young men throwing beer bottles on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Salt Lake City, while chanting "U.S.A." Others shouted profanities at police. One officer pushed a young man to the ground after he approached a line of riot police, which prompted more profanities from onlookers.

"Leave the area now or we will deploy less [than] lethal munitions," one officer announced over a bullhorn.

Baird said the majority of people were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. He said there were no reports of anyone injured.

One eyewitness said the police used rubber bullets.

"We were hanging out on the street, and all the sudden we're getting shot at with rubber bullets," he said.

Another young man sided with the riot police, saying they "did what they had to do."

"They were getting brutally assaulted," he said. "I don't blame them for shooting."

Numerous law enforcement remained on the scene into early Sunday.




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