Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 43° | Lo 27°

University of Massachusetts officials review campus World Series celebration that resulted in 15 arrests

  • THOMAS RELIHAN<br/>The scene at the University of Massachusetts Amherst after the Red Sox triumphed in  the World Series.
  • THOMAS RELIHAN<br/>The scene at the University of Massachusetts Amherst after the Red Sox triumphed in  the World Series.
  • THOMAS RELIHAN<br/>The scene at the University of Massachusetts Amherst after the Red Sox triumphed in  the World Series.

But the behavior of the 15 people taken into custody on the Amherst campus, 14 of whom are students at UMass, wasn’t much different from that of revelers at other college campuses in New England, including Keene State, Plymouth State and the University of New Hampshire, where destructive incidents and combative actions led to several arrests.

Twelve people were arrested in Boston during post-game celebrations, according to Boston.com.

UMass officials Thursday were still assessing what transpired the night before, as the Red Sox win sent a crowd, estimated at around 3,000 people in the Southwest area of campus, into a frenzy.

Edward Blaguszewski, director of the UMass news office, said university staff, including members of the police department and student affairs office, will be reviewing the disturbance.

“There will be some discussion later this afternoon, putting things together and assessing what happened,” Blaguszewski said Thursday.

The arrests came despite efforts to ensure a peaceful evening with warning emails sent to all UMass students Monday and UMass officials working with student groups to offer a variety of activities beginning at 10 p.m., including inflatable bounce amusements, free food and a large screen broadcasting the game, all at the Southwest concourse.

“It’s a situation where we tried to do something different, but we still had problems,” said UMass spokesman Daniel Fitzgibbons.

In 2004, the night of the clinching game for the first championship in 86 years for the Red Sox, 22 people were arrested in the Southwest area, but officials at that time considered the crowd control a success because there were no injuries and minimal property damage. During that World Series, over the course of four days, 79 students were arrested on campus in connection with riots.

In 2007, though, just six arrests were made following the deciding game in the Red Sox World Series win.

Mixed reviews

Sionan Barrett, speaker of the senate for the Student Government Association, said in an email that efforts to keep celebrations calm had mixed results, noting that the success was bringing out 3,000 students for a festive time.

“I think it was a good way to show our pride for our local sports teams and create memories for everyone who was present,” Barrett said.

But she noted that it was unfortunate that police had to break up the scene and send people back into their dorms.

“It was unsuccessful because although we did provide alternatives for students, the actions of a few resulted in requiring our campus police’s attention,” Barrett said.

Barrett said 26 members of the SGA volunteered at the event and cleaned up the area into the early morning hours.

Blaguszewski praised the student leaders and said for the first 90 minutes the event went well. “It was a very upbeat, very positive gathering, with a very good vibe in the crowd,” he said.

When the game ended, however, behavior changed.

“People came out of the towers intent on being the center of attention and causing a ruckus,” Blaguszkewsi said.

This included climbing trees with intent to damage them, he said, knocking over trash cans and lighting items on fire, such as toilet paper that had been strewn about. One of the inflatable amusements was also damaged.

“That’s when police decided to try to move in and break things up a little bit. At this point, the focus was on crowd control and getting them back into the buildings,” Fitzgibbons said.

Police response

UMass and state police officers wearing riot gear launched a smoke bomb and pepper pellets to bring order to the scene, and dispersal orders were read. Mounted patrol units and K9 units were also on the scene until after midnight.

The most serious incidents involved two students who confronted officers.

Alexander J. Booth, 19, of Andover, was arrested on charges of failure to disperse from a riot and assault and battery on a police officer, while Lawrence Green Jr., 21, of Mashpee, was arrested on two counts of assault and battery on police officers and charges of failure to disperse from a riot and resisting arrest.

Fitzgibbons said there were no injuries to any officers or students.

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

Casey J. Adams, 19, of Concord; Nicholas J. Barry, 19, of Ashby; Michael D. Bertram, 22, of Mattapoisett; ; Travis Joseph Connolly, 23, of Boston; Molly C. Fitzgerald, 19, and John E. Milligan, 19, both of Needham; Evan F. Jacob, 19, and Justin Markuson, 18, both of Framingham; Carolyn A. Malone, 19, of Scituate; Miranda B. Murphy, 18 of Plainville; Zachary Orcutt, 19, of Mashpee; and Patrick J. Rogers, 19, of Westford.

In addition, Adams, Barry and Malone were also arrested on charges of resisting arrest, while Barry had another charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol,

The only other person arrested was Jonathan Alan Ennis, 24, of Greenfield, who was taken into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct.

While all the students will have their cases processed through the Eastern Hampshire District Court, they also face possible sanctions from the university through its code of student conduct.

Blaguszewski said information about those arrested will be forwarded to the dean of students office. “We will move ahead to promptly review those cases,” Blaguszewski said.

Earlier this week, Enku Gelaye, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life, sent an email about safe celebrations and a link to the office’s website outlining acceptable behavior. Among the behavior that would not be tolerated and would be considered inciting riots are disobeying orders, climbing trees, lamp poles and signs or getting on another person’s shoulders, setting fires, damaging property and throwing things.

Trouble elsewhere

The UMass campus was not alone in having problems Wednesday night.

“This is not something endemic to just UMass,” Fitzgibbons said.

Five students at the University of New Hampshire in Durham were arrested after some of the 3,000 people gathered downtown threw bottles at police, damaged vehicles and set off fireworks, according to the Portsmouth Herald.

The arrests came after three dispersal orders were issued by several police departments.

At Keene (N.H.) State University, about 1,000 students threw rocks and glass bottles, according to the Keene Sentinel, a situation only brought under control by use of pepperballs. Though no arrests were made, they may be forthcoming, as investigations are still under way, including one into an incident in which a student’s car was damaged after it was flipped over.

At Plymouth State University, students set fires and some ran naked around the campus.

According to The Clock, the student newspaper there, several decorative light poles were pushed over and pieces of furniture were set on fire. Fox 44, a Burlington, Vt., television station, reported a life-size statue of Robert Frost was damaged at the campus.


STORIFY: Videos, comments and pictures from people who attended the '#UMassRiot' for the World Series

Thursday, October 31, 2013

<noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/kristinpalpini/umass-celebrates-red-sox-world-series-win-a-few-ar" mce_href="http://storify.com/kristinpalpini/umass-celebrates-red-sox-world-series-win-a-few-ar" target="_blank">View the story "UMass celebrates Red Sox World Series win; a few arrests, a little tear gas" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div> </div> …

Legacy Comments0
There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.