PSU to pay $25K to parent injured in 2018 tailgate incident

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ) — Penn State will pay $25,000 in a lawsuit settlement that stemmed from a 2018 tailgating incident that prompted a police response involving a helicopter.

The incident made national headlines as Pennsylvania state law enforcement responded to a large tailgate at Beaver Stadium on Oct. 29, 2018, on horseback and with a low flying helicopter that sent tents, grills, and debris into the air.

William Deegan, father to a PSU senior at the time, said in the lawsuit that he sustained lasting injuries, including 6 broken ribs and cognitive problems after he was struck in the head by a police horse and fell against a car. The lawsuit claims Deegan faced financial loss and physical suffering as a result of the incident.

Four Penn State students who were organizers of the tailgate were charged with selling alcohol and providing alcohol to minors. Undercover officers from the Bureau of Liquor Control attended the tailgate and reportedly observed bouncers sporadically checking IDs and letting some students enter while checking others.

State police said two horses from their tactical mounted unit were assaulted and one trooper was injured. The helicopter was eventually utilized to disperse the crowd. Nearly 600 people attended the tailgate before Penn Sate’s game against Ohio State which state police say involved 18 fraternities and sororities.

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