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NBCPhiladelphia.com - Katy Zachry
Penn State students took to the streets after receiving news of Joe Paterno's firing.
Penn State students -- by the thousands -- crowded into the streets on campus in State College Wednesday night after football coach Joe Paterno was fired by the Board of Trustees.
Police in full riot gear were in place as crowds descended on Beaver Avenue around 10 p.m. When police told students to disperse, they headed toward the Old Main Building.
At 11 p.m. students were headed to Beaver Avenue as they chanted about the end of JoePa.
By 12:15 a.m. Thursday there were reports of destroyed property and riot police were trying to disperse the crowd up College Avenue using pepper spray, according to reporters on the scene.
By 1 a.m. police had managed to disperse the majority of the crowd but as of 2 a.m. some students remained by Paterno's statue outside Beaver stadium.
Once the rowdy crowd returned towards Old Main some students knocked over a news van from Altoona -- a moment caught on YouTube.
Most of the crowd was peaceful but some young people did get out of hand. At least two arrests were reported.
Two light posts were knocked down as student protested, according to reports.
Wednesday during the day, Paterno cried openly when he told his staff and the team of his planned departure.
The 84-year-old coaching legend and school icon had planned to step down at the end of the season, but Trustees announced Wednesday night that both Paterno and the school President, Graham Spanier, were ousted immediately.
The firing and resignation (in the case of Spanier) were a result of the growing anger over how the school handled an alleged child sex abuse scandal that centers on former defensive coordinator, and once Paterno heir apparent, Jerry Sandusky.
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