Law enforcement officers from several Richmond-area agencies were out in full force Saturday night, after hundreds of disappointed fans poured onto Broad Street following the NCAA Semi-Final loss for the VCU Men's Basketball team.
Crowds had watched the game against Butler University inside of the Stuart C. Siegel Center and after the game ended they made their way in front of the facility lighting fire to t-shirts and shooting off fireworks in the sky.
That's when police officers in SWAT team gear as well as mounted police officers moved in and released what appeared to be tear gas into the crowd -
The Richmond Police Department would not confirm what kind of police tactics were used to contain the crowd only saying it would speak after the mayhem was under control. A spokesperson for the department also said there were no confirmed reports of injuries, if any, available.As of 10:35 p.m. a heavy police presence remained on Broad Street and the downtown artery remained closed from Belvidere Street to just past the Siegel Center.
This is some stupid retarded mess. Tear gas, rubber bullets, fires!!! I mean really people, its just basketball and college at that. I could maybe understand if it was football!! Smdh...Richmond has let me down tonight. So glad i thought against goin on that damn campus tonight. WHOO
Outside the house, there are signs all over the yard that this is an extraordinary time in the life of the couple who lives here.
While inside, it's the calm before the Final Four storm.
Maya Smart, the wife of VCU Head Coach Shaka Smart, has a rare moment to put her feet up after flying from city to city on the Ram's historic NCAA run.
And she needs the down time. She told me they're expecting their first child this year.
Maya says she's very excited. She says she's had a chance to get some rest. It's been a mix of excitement and exhaustion.
She says when she met Smart who was an Assistant Coach in Akron, Ohio in 2004 she says she knew he would be successful, but never imagined it would happen this fast.
Maya says she didn't expect this level of success this year. She says it's nice in his 2nd year as head coach he has this opportunity to go this far.
And she's been with him every step of the way since their wedding day in May 2006.
While sports reporters are telling the world about Smart the Coach. I asked Maya about Smart - her husband.
She says he's very compassionate, a very family oriented person. She says he calls his mother every day, something a lot of people don't know about him.
While he builds his coaching career, Maya has a successful career of her own.
The Harvard graduate is an entrepreneur and writer who's been published in major magazines.
As the University begins talks to keep Coach Smart at VCU, they may want to talk to the person he calls "the boss."
Maya jokingly says yes. But then adds V-C-U has been good to them. She says people leave because they think they can't go all the way. She says this is a fantastic place to be and that they're focused on the next step with is winning the whole thing.
And on game days Maya has a good luck routine. She puts on black and gold jewelry, and covers herself in VCU pins. She picks a song on her husband's I-pod to get him pumped up for the opposing team.
Didnt know Coach Smart or Shake Flaka Flame as we like to call him, was married and she a darkie!!! Go head #teamdarkskin