Amherst party leads to dozens of arrests

Police arrested 73 people in Amherst after a pre-St. Paddy's day party turned into chaos.

By Gabrielle Levy

AMHERST, Mass., March 10 (UPI) -- Dozens of students were arrested Saturday night when a pre-St. Patrick's Day party in a Massachusetts college town turned violent.

Clashes between students and police at the annual Blarney Blowout in Amherst that began Saturday afternoon led to the arrests of 73 people, an Amherst Police Department commanding officer said.


Authorities said a drunken party at an off-campus student housing complex devolved when a crowd of as many of 4,000 people began lobbing snowballs, glass bottles and cans at police, who in turn fired pepper spray into the crowd.

Three arrests of were made by UMass Police, while the rest were made by Amherst PD. The identities of those arrested -- most of them likely college students -- were not made public Monday morning.

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Some of those arrested were charged with crimes -- including assault and battery on police officers, inciting to riot, failing to disperse, disorderly conduct and liquor law violations -- and were released on bail Sunday afternoon. Others awaited arraignment and were still in custody Monday.

UMass-Amherst Chancellor Kumble R. Subbaswamy denounced the incident, saying it "brought shame on our fine university."


"I want to make it unequivocally clear that the University of Massachusetts Amherst condemns the outrageous behavior of those students who acted out without any regard for public safety and the community in which they live," the chancellor said. "There is no excuse for this type of alcohol-fueled behavior, and I want to assure both the town and the campus that we will take steps to address this incident."

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[The Amherst Republican]

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