Late night Super Bowl celebration turns ugly in Pioneer Square

Windows of businesses and on the historic pergola were broken, as some in the crowd threw bottles at police.
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Windows of businesses and on the historic pergola were broken, as some in the crowd threw bottles at police.

Post-game Super Bowl XLVIII victory celebrations turned ugly around midnight in Pioneer Square on Sunday, as some gatherers around Yesler Way and First Avenue South busted windows on storefronts and the historic pergola.

Once the glass-smashing started, bike police and officers on foot, who'd stood by at the scene throughout the night, moved in to disperse the crowd. Around 9 p.m. there were over 1,000 people on hand. It's unclear how many were in the area when the cops took action. Two people were arrested for throwing bottles at officers, according to Seattle Police Department detective, Mark Jamieson.

Meanwhile, two shootings occurred in the blocks around the celebration. The first shooting took place around 11:20 p.m. at First Avenue South and Cherry Street. "It's hard to say if that was celebration related," Jamieson said. The victim had a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the leg. Officers later arrested a suspect and recovered a gun.

The second shooting took place at around 11:30 p.m. on the 200 block of Alaskan Way South. That victim was also shot in the leg; the wound was not life threatening. The victim likely knew the suspect, who fled the scene, according to Jamieson.

There were no other immediate reports of injuries to crowd members or to police officers in Pioneer Square.

The pergola sustained about $25,000 of damage, according to Seattle Parks and Recreation spokesperson, Joelle Hammerstad. Each of the 20 broken glass panels costs $800 to $900. Copper flashing on top of the pergola, bent from people walking on it, will also need to be replaced so the structure doesn't leak. And Parks and Recreation will have to power-wash graffiti off of some of the pergola's columns.

Police made roughly three other "celebration" related arrests last night, including one in the University District for reckless burning. Reports surfaced on Twitter around 9 p.m. of eight couch cushions burning in the street near Northeast 47th Street and 19th Avenue Northeast. Firefighters extinguished the cushions, but the person arrested "kept going back" to try to reignite them, Jamieson said. 

"For the majority of the night the mood was just celebratory," he said. "It wasn't until after midnight, when down in Pioneer Square, things got a little ugly."


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