Those not arrested internally were released and told to withdraw from the club. However, instead of dispersing as quickly as past attacks, they wandered outside as crowds gathered. Within minutes, as many as 150 people gathered outside. Some released customers began to mock the police and paid tribute to them in an exaggerated “storm commando.” When they saw handcuffed bar customers being forced into police cars, some onlookers began throwing alcohol at the police. Police were surprised by the crowd’s unusually angry and aggressive behavior, and the police called for reinforcements and restricted themselves to bars. Outside, a crowd of about 400 people started to riot. The rioters broke the police barricade and set the club on fire. Police reinforcements arrived in time to put out the fire and eventually dispersed the crowd. Although the fire inside the Stonewall Hotel has gone out, the “fire” in the hearts of the demonstrators did not.