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Backstory: Blarney Blowout arrests crowd courtroom

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Several dozen people appeared for arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Several dozen people appeared for arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend. Purchase photo reprints »

  • Joshua N. Scott was one of several dozen people who appeared for arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.  Scott was charged with disorderly conduct and inciting a riot. Daily Hampshire Gazette/ Kevin Gutting

    Joshua N. Scott was one of several dozen people who appeared for arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend. Scott was charged with disorderly conduct and inciting a riot. Daily Hampshire Gazette/ Kevin Gutting Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Judge Robert Gordon presides in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday over the arraignment of several dozen defendants charged in the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Judge Robert Gordon presides in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday over the arraignment of several dozen defendants charged in the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Owen McGowan was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on three charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct, inciting a riot and assault and battery on a police officer.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Owen McGowan was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on three charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct, inciting a riot and assault and battery on a police officer. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Jared Dawson was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on four charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer and inciting a riot.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Jared Dawson was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on four charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer and inciting a riot. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>John J. Fitzgerald was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on two charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    John J. Fitzgerald was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on two charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Molly H. Ryan was one of several dozen defendants who appeared in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday for arraignment on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend. Ryan was charged with failing to disperse from a riot.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Molly H. Ryan was one of several dozen defendants who appeared in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday for arraignment on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend. Ryan was charged with failing to disperse from a riot. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Assistant Northwestern District attorney Becky Michaels, right, hands paperwork to Eastern Hampshire District Court Assistant Clerk Magistrate Randall Smith in Belchertown as she prepares for the arraignment Monday of several dozen people charged during the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Assistant Northwestern District attorney Becky Michaels, right, hands paperwork to Eastern Hampshire District Court Assistant Clerk Magistrate Randall Smith in Belchertown as she prepares for the arraignment Monday of several dozen people charged during the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend. Purchase photo reprints »

  • JASON PICARD<br/>An officer helps a highly intoxicated man to his feet while another escorts an apparently sober individual away from the scene that was forcibly dispersed of several hundred people less than a half hour before, behind an Amherst residence near the corner of North Pleasant and Fearing streets on Saturday afternoon, March 8.

    JASON PICARD
    An officer helps a highly intoxicated man to his feet while another escorts an apparently sober individual away from the scene that was forcibly dispersed of several hundred people less than a half hour before, behind an Amherst residence near the corner of North Pleasant and Fearing streets on Saturday afternoon, March 8. Purchase photo reprints »

  • TOM BEATON<br/>Crowds in Amherst at Blarney Blowout 2014.

    TOM BEATON
    Crowds in Amherst at Blarney Blowout 2014. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Ivan Rudovol, 21, a computer science major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, appears in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday for arraignment on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot during the so-called "Blarney Blowout" Saturday in Amherst. Rudovol told the Gazette earlier that he was on his way to visit a friend in the Brandywine Apartments at the time of his arrest, was sober and not participating in the Blarney Blowout activities.

    KEVIN GUTTING
    Ivan Rudovol, 21, a computer science major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, appears in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday for arraignment on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot during the so-called "Blarney Blowout" Saturday in Amherst. Rudovol told the Gazette earlier that he was on his way to visit a friend in the Brandywine Apartments at the time of his arrest, was sober and not participating in the Blarney Blowout activities. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Several dozen people appeared for arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.
  • Joshua N. Scott was one of several dozen people who appeared for arraignment in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.  Scott was charged with disorderly conduct and inciting a riot. Daily Hampshire Gazette/ Kevin Gutting
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Judge Robert Gordon presides in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday over the arraignment of several dozen defendants charged in the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Owen McGowan was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on three charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct, inciting a riot and assault and battery on a police officer.
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Jared Dawson was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on four charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer and inciting a riot.
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>John J. Fitzgerald was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday on two charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend: disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot.
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Molly H. Ryan was one of several dozen defendants who appeared in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday for arraignment on charges related to the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend. Ryan was charged with failing to disperse from a riot.
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Assistant Northwestern District attorney Becky Michaels, right, hands paperwork to Eastern Hampshire District Court Assistant Clerk Magistrate Randall Smith in Belchertown as she prepares for the arraignment Monday of several dozen people charged during the so-called "Blarney Blowout" that took place in Amherst over the weekend.
  • JASON PICARD<br/>An officer helps a highly intoxicated man to his feet while another escorts an apparently sober individual away from the scene that was forcibly dispersed of several hundred people less than a half hour before, behind an Amherst residence near the corner of North Pleasant and Fearing streets on Saturday afternoon, March 8.
  • TOM BEATON<br/>Crowds in Amherst at Blarney Blowout 2014.
  • KEVIN GUTTING<br/>Ivan Rudovol, 21, a computer science major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, appears in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown Monday for arraignment on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot during the so-called "Blarney Blowout" Saturday in Amherst. Rudovol told the Gazette earlier that he was on his way to visit a friend in the Brandywine Apartments at the time of his arrest, was sober and not participating in the Blarney Blowout activities.

And that was just the beginning. More court appearances are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday because Eastern Hampshire District Court could not handle all the cases in one day.

Saturday’s shenanigans drew police in riot gear and ended with injuries and vandalism, prompting town and gown alike to vow next year would be different.

“As a proud UMass alum, I share the frustration, embarrassment and anger over the events of the weekend,” said Amherst Town Manager John Musante.

Although the Barney Blowout has become synonymous with UMass, only 21 of the 55 people arrested Saturday were UMass students, according to a release from university spokesman Edward Blaguszewski.

Musante said the influx of Blarney Blowout participants from outside Amherst is troubling.

“Clearly, there were a number of visitors to the town on top of the students already here,” he said.

For most of those arrested — those charged with minor violations such as having open containers of alcohol in public and being minors in possession of alcohol — the consequences were four months probation, a $100 fine and the requirement to take a one-day alcohol education seminar at a cost of $50.

But for the more serious offenses, it was a different matter. Defendants facing charges of inciting a riot, failure to disperse from a riot and assault and battery on a police officer, face more serious consequences — those crimes can each carry a sentence of up to one year in prison. Those defendants were released on their own recognizance and ordered to return for pre-trial conferences in April and May.

Monday’s proceedings filled Judge Robert Gordon’s Belchertown courtroom to standing-room-only capacity.

Resolve to act

Meanwhile, Musante and UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy pledged to find a way to stop what has become an annual melee that seems to worsen each year.

This year, crowds of up to 4,000 people gathered in various North Amherst locations and as police called for them to disperse and advanced with pepper-spray guns, some partyers responded by flinging bottles, cans and snowballs. At least four officers received injuries that did not require hospital treatment, and many others suffered cuts and bruises. Police said they arrested 55 people between 8 a.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. Sunday. Another eight people are expected to be summoned to court to face charges related to the alcohol-fueled disturbances.

Police offered no explanation for the discrepancy between these numbers and the 73 confirmed arrested and 28 to be summoned on Sunday.

“We’re really going to redouble our efforts, identify specific strategies — plural — to prevent this kind of thing occurring,” Musante said Monday.

In a statement, Subbaswamy also used the word “redouble” in describing efforts he will take to avert future episodes. He promised to take “swift action” to address any violations of the Code of Student Conduct, whether off or on campus, resulting from the disturbances.

Out-of-town question

Assistant Clerk Magistrate Randall Smith said more than half of those he processed during Monday’s court session were not affiliated with UMass, though he could not specify the number he handled.

“One aspect we’re hearing about, but need to assess specifically, is what element had to do with visitors to campus,” Blaguszewski said.

Blaguszewski said groups are forming at UMass to examine evidence, determine the appropriate discipline for students involved and report back to Subbaswamy.

“The university community owns this and we need to address and deal with it,” he said. “That’s the principal concern and message.”

UMass officials will consult with Amherst and UMass police, using photographs and videos to help them evaluate what happened and who was involved.

Saturday’s disturbances, as in past years, sprang from a promotion of prize giveaways and green beer called Blarney Blowout, held by two downtown Amherst bars the week before the area colleges’ spring break. Town and university officials had warned students that excessive public drinking, attempts to congregate in large groups and other related disruptive behavior, would result in arrests and sanctions by the university.

Musante noted that of the 240 calls police received for service during the weekend, none came from the downtown bars. Just one incident occurred downtown, when a person refused to leave a store. “We had good communication and dialogue between the town, police and downtown bar owners prior to and during the day.”

Response praised, questioned

Musante said police officers and firefighters “did a tremendous job under difficult circumstances.”

There were complaints by some that police were heavy-handed in dealing with the crowds. Ivan Rudovol of Sharon claimed he was sober when he arrived to visit a friend at the Brandywine Apartments. He didn’t realize people had been ordered to disperse from the area, and was hit in the eyes with pepper spray by an Amherst police officer. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot.

In a statement issued Monday, Police Chief Scott Livingstone called Saturday’s events “extremely upsetting and hazardous. The behavior of many participants of this melee caused the public and first responders to be placed in a very dangerous situation,” he said.

Police Detective Lt. Ronald Young noted one incident in which a Hallock Street resident returned home at 2:09 p.m. Saturday to find the window in the front door smashed out and two intruders inside his bedroom, one of whom was bleeding profusely.

The heavily intoxicated intruders then became combative with the resident. The suspects are being summoned to court on charges of breaking and entering during the daytime to commit a felony, disorderly conduct and malicious destruction of property under $250, Young said.

At 11:06 a.m., another Hallock Street resident of an apartment building reported people loitering outside and people entering the building to urinate.

More serious charges

The large crowds, which police estimated at more than 4,000 at times, periodically became destructive and aggressive, according to police.

Those who face the most serious charges are those who allegedly became combative with police, including individuals who police reports say hit officers with thrown beer bottles.

Zachary Ryan Bodine, 23, of New Bedford, Jared Dawson, 21, of Groton, Stephen Edward Gage, 20, of East Falmouth, and Owen McGowan, 19, of Norwell, were all arrested on charges of assault and battery on a police officer.

Dawson also faces charges of disorderly conduct, inciting a riot and resisting arrest, while Bodine faces charges of failure to disperse from a riot and resisting arrest, police said.

Gage was also arrested on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest and failure disperse from a riot, while McGowan was also arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and inciting a riot, police said.

In other destructive acts, partyers tried to tear down light poles at Brandywine Apartments on North Pleasant Street, police said. Police arrested two men at Townehouse Apartments on Meadow Street after they confronted a private security team.

Calvin S. Diamond, 21, of 12 Bartlett St., South Hadley, and Ryan Joseph Mack, 22, of Longmeadow, were both arrested on charges of assault with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct. Diamond was also arrested on a charge of violating the town’s nuisance house bylaw, police said.

Samuel Douglass, 20, of Rehoboth, and Joshua Nathan Scott, 21, of Springfield, were both arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, inciting a riot and resisting arrest, police said.

The following individuals were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and failure to disperse from a riot, police said:

Lyle Holmes Baker, 20, of Baltimore; Gabriela Alves Boudreau, 18, of Arlington; Charles Clements, 19, and Brett Martin, 18, both of Hopkinton; Thomas Curran Donovan, 21, of Holliston; John J. Fitzgerald, 21, of Bradford; Jackson Daniel Hurley, 18, of Foxborough; Alec Rodrigue, 19, of Concord; Ivan Rudovol, 21, of Sharon; Joshua Stambovsky, 22, of Longmeadow; Timothy Sughrue, 20, of Plainville; Conor Vorhaus, 19, of Sag Harbor, N.Y.; and Brennden Wood, 18, of Wolcott, Conn.

Jonathan W. Copeland, 22, of Sutton, Steven Lundbohm, 20, of Milton, Sara Munley, 19, of Marlborough, and Chad William Prigmore, 22, of Puffton Village, unit 326, were all arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, police said.

The following people were arrested on charges of failure to disperse from a riot:

Cian G. Davoren, 22, of Needham; Garret Dub and Molly Helen Ryan, both 21 and of Salem; Edward Estey, 23, of Beverly; Richard Leahy, 20, of Emerson, N.J.; and Ryan S. Young, 22, of Wayne, N.J.

Aaron J. Marcel, 19, of Abington, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, police said.

Police issued nuisance house citations to two women living at 41 Phillips St. $300 after guests threw bottles at passing vehicles and they did nothing to stop them.

In addition, four men living at 382 North Pleasant St. are each being issued $300 tickets for violating the town’s nuisance house bylaw after they were observed throwing beer bottles from the roof onto the street Saturday at 9:28 p.m.

An additional three individuals were taken into custody by UMass police.

Sean Amaru, 21, of Falmouth, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrest, police said.

Steven G. Hall, 22, of Nashua, N.H., and Dana Mahar, 22, of Wolfeboro, N.H., were both arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, police said.

Related

UMass Amherst students protest police response to Blarney Blowout

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

AMHERST — Some 100 University of Massachusetts students marched across campus Tuesday, demanding an apology from Amherst police for what they say was excessive use of force at Saturday’s Blarney Blowout. But they aren’t likely to get one. Town and police officials defended the police response, while Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan weighed in, calling students’ behavior Saturday “inexcusable.” Law … 3

Chief Scott Livingstone explains Amherst police actions during Blarney Blowout

Thursday, March 13, 2014

AMHERST — Two college-age women bleeding from their heads and being escorted by friends away from Brandywine Apartments were the first people Amherst Police Chief Scott Livingstone encountered when he got into town for Saturday’s Blarney Blowout. With a crowd of around 2,000 at the North Pleasant Street apartment complex — and evidence of injuries caused by thrown beer bottles … 4

Comments
Legacy Comments3

Why do the authors say the mob "responded" by throwing beer bottles, when in their own reporting, they have bottles thrown by the mob as early as 9:28AM?

If marijuana was as available as alcohol, this nonsense would not happen. This has always been the case but our leaders and policy makers are tenaciously committed to generations of failed strategies. No one in a position of power or authority is proposing a single new ground breaking idea or initiative so we should expect more of the same. Oh well.

Unruly events like the Blarney Blowout will almost certainly get worse in progressive Amherst before they get better, and UMass continues to be behind the curve. People are not asking what les behind this nationwide scourge of self-centered me-generation kids. Most likely it is a breakdown of society, broken families, and/or two-wage earner families who are too busy to instill stable values in their children. UMass can't solve this alone, but as argued one before, it can become a more selective institution like UVA or William and Mary, which don't have such annual discipline problems. Try raising SATs to 600, stop growing your campus -- Amherst is already saturated with kids --and after four years, attrition out the trouble makers. Until then, UMass brand ambassadors will not be the world-class nanotech department or excellent academics, but rather nationwide images of drunk boys with backward baseball caps holding beers in each hand, and awkward provocative girls sticking their tongues out and taunting riot police. The university must face up to facts, and reinvent itself or this community embarrassment will go on.

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