Violence mars celebrations as fans cheer win
Updated: Monday February 2, 2004 8:59AM
BOSTON (AP) -- New England Patriots fans turned rowdy after their team's Super Bowl victory, flipping cars and lighting small fires as thousands swarmed the streets. One person was killed when a driver backed his sport utility vehicle into a group of revelers.
Fans flipped over a half dozen cars near Northeastern University, where an SUV backed into a crowd of revelers, killing one person believed to be a 21-year-old male college student, and injuring three others, one of them critically, acting Boston Police Commissioner James Hussey said Monday.
The driver, Stanley Filoma, 24, of Boston, sped off, but was arrested a short distance away and was scheduled to be arraigned on charges including vehicular homicide, drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident, Hussey said.
One of those injured was a Boston police officer who had non-life threatening injuries, police said. The officer was on duty and was trying to stop the car from hitting the crowd.
There were a total of three arrests in the Northeastern area.
In Kenmore Square, near Boston University, fans thronged the streets around garbage fires. A local television station reported that one of its vans was vandalized, and the crew had be escorted from the area by police.
"Unfortunately, there were those who used this event as an excuse to break laws and destroy property," Hussey said.
In the city's Allston neighborhood, home to many college students and nightclubs, firefighters hosed down revelers in hopes of dispersing the crowd.
At the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, police in riot gear cleared a crowd of hundreds of fans in the Southwest residential area after they set a fire and refused to disperse. There were no reports of trouble at the University of Rhode Island and the University of New Hampshire, where violence broke out after Red Sox playoff games last fall.
The city plans a noontime rally Tuesday at City Hall Plaza, where two years ago about 1.2 million fans celebrated the Patriots' first Super Bowl win over the St. Louis Rams.
"I'll be there. No doubt," said David Harrison, who joined hundreds of other fans who flooded the streets around Boston's historic Faneuil Hall just seconds after Adam Vinatieri's 41-yard field goal in the waning seconds capped an exciting 32-29 win against the Carolina Panthers.
Harrison's friend, John Dunleavy, was confident the Patriots could pull out the win even after the Panthers came back and took a 22-21 lead during the fourth quarter.
"As long as we had some time left, I knew [Patriots quarterback Tom] Brady could do something," he said.
Across New England, fans held their breath as Vinatieri uncharacteristically flubbed two previous field goal attempts.
But Beth Doherty of Boston wasn't concerned "because that's what the Patriots do. This is the way they've won all season and that's when they play their best."
"We're not used to seeing the Patriots put it away early," she said.
A hush fell over The Rack billiards club in Boston when Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Ricky Proehl to tie the game at 29-29. But noise increased as the Patriots moved down field to set up Vinatieri's field goal, and reached a crescendo as the ball arced through the uprights.
At the Ivy Tavern in Providence, R.I., Kerrie McAloon of New Shoreham, leaped out of the her chair and yelled "Vinatieri is the man!"
It was a remarkably similar ending to the 2002 Super Bowl, when a Vinatieri field goal sealed the win over St. Louis.
"Could you ask for a better script?" said Jim Jackson, 44, of Boston, who was partying at The Rack. "It's a Hollywood ending -- again,"