The events of this past Saturday were extremely upsetting and hazardous. The Amherst Police Department was prepared for increased activity but did not anticipate the dangerous and assaultive behavior and disturbances that would surface from the pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The behavior of many participants of this melee caused the public and first responders to be placed in a very dangerous situation. 100% of the police resources were assigned to this incident, leaving the remainder of the town of Amherst without adequate police coverage. Amherst Police officers, with the assistance of the University of Massachusetts Police Department, worked diligently and professionally for hours to disperse the unruly crowds that grew to exceed 4,000. As we’ve seen both in Amherst and similar college communities it is necessary to disperse these illegal gatherings as injuries to participants and the public are certain to occur if we fail to act. Four Amherst Police Officers suffered minor injuries and I am thankful that their injuries were not more serious.
The Amherst Police Department will continue to work with our partners at the University of Massachusetts to identify ways to deter incidents such as this from occurring in the future.
The Amherst Police Department arrested 55 persons from Saturday, March 8, 2014 at 8:00 A.M. to Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 8:00 A.M. Of those arrested, the primary arrest charges are as follows:
• 19 persons were arrested for Failure to Disperse from a Riot,
• 17 persons were arrested for Liquor Law Violations,
• 6 persons were arrested for Inciting a Riot,
• 6 persons were arrested for Disorderly Conduct
• 2 persons were arrested for Assault, Dangerous Weapon,
• 2 persons were arrested for Burglary,
• 2 persons were arrested OUI,
• 1 person was arrested for Possession of Firearm while Intoxicated
In addition there were 8 persons summonsed into court for criminal offenses.
• 5 persons were summonsed for Liquor Law Violations,
• 3 persons were summonsed for violating the town by law for Nuisance House