At least 73 arrests; four officers hurt during Amherst Blarney Blowout

Report It: Larry Kelley

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Over 73 arrests and at least 43 college aged people have been arrested afour police officers have  been hurt trying to disperse large crowds during the Blarney Blowout.

Amherst Police Captain Jennifer Gundersen told 22News at 10:00AM, thousands left the UMass campus and walked on North Pleasant Street toward the Puffton Village Apartment Complex.

By 11:00AM the crowd was too large for vehicles to get into the complex, and people began fighting.

At 12:15PM about 4,000 people had to be dispersed from the Brandywine Apartment Complex. Officer were hit with glass bottles, beer and snowballs. Police say the partiers also damaged cars and light poles.

Captain Gundersen reported multiple other large scale disturbances throughout the day and night and had to use pepper spray and riot gear.

Captain Gundersen told 22News they also had to contact UMass transit to shut down bus service on the campus because of the crowd danger.

Most of the 73 people arrested have been charged with failing to disperse.

None of the four officers hurt were taken to the hospital.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst denounced the unruly behavior of participants in the unsanctioned “Blarney Blowout.”

Ed Blaguszewski, campus spokesman, said students arrested by Amherst Police or UMass Police will have the details of their behavior reviewed by the Dean of Students under the Student Code of Conduct. Sanctions can include suspension or expulsion from the university.

UMass Police worked throughout the day with Amherst Police to manage crowds that gathered, which occurred for the most part off campus.

UMass Police reported three arrests, none of them UMass students. Other arrests were made by Amherst Police.

In the days leading up to the gathering, the university reached out to students, landlords, parents, faculty and staff in a campaign to communicate the importance of students acting safely and respecting the property of others.

In addition, the university sent letters to students who had been disciplined for alcohol-related misconduct in the past year and to students who live in off-campus housing cited for noise or nuisance complaints reminding them of the possible consequences of bad behavior.

Click Here to read the full news release from the Amherst Police Department.

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