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Nine hospitalized for intoxication during Halloween parties in Amherst; three arrested

AMHERST — Hundreds of college-age people wandered through several neighborhoods Halloween night into Friday morning, stretching the town’s Fire Department to the limit, though disturbances appeared minor, according to police.

But alcohol consumption at Halloween parties, both on the University of Massachusetts campus and at student rentals throughout town, put a stress on the Fire Department.

Police arrested three people during the night and early morning hours and paramedics treated one woman who fell down a flight of stairs, police said.

Meanwhile, nine people were taken to the hospital due to intoxication.

“It was busy all over the place,” said Detective David Foster. He said officers dealt with most of these noise-related issues before they got out of hand.

Even so, the Fire Department was severely stretched, said Fire Chief Walter “Tim” Nelson, especially between 11:30 p.m. and 2 a.m., when ambulances went nine times to UMass to assist drunken students.

“It seems like we were pulling kids out of every dorm’s third-floor bathroom,” Nelson said.

At one point, all five town ambulances were in service and the department received mutual aid assistance from two Northampton ambulances. Nelson said each transport to Cooley Dickinson takes about 90 minutes to complete.

From 5 p.m. Thursday through 7 a.m. Friday, the Fire Department responded to 29 calls. Beside those who were intoxicated, the other calls included alarms and malfunctioning smoke detectors, medical emergencies and, in one case, people stuck in an elevator.

The first call for police came at 10:49 p.m., when Fearing and Allen streets were crowded with more than 1,000 people walking through the area trying to find parties. Officers dispersed the students.

The first arrest came at 204 College St., where close to 100 guests were attending a party at 12:36 a.m. Friday.

Emily Lorraine McGowan, 19, of 111 Southwest Circle, was arrested on a charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Foster said the next arrest was at 20 South Whitney St. around the same time, when Gregory P. Harris, 20, of Natick, was arrested on charges of being a minor in possession of alcohol and possessing a fake ID.

On Hobart Lane at 1:29 a.m., Tyler John Sandoe, 20, of Groton, was arrested on a charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Four people will be summoned to court for their actions between 11:30 p.m. and 1:29 a.m.

A 19-year-old Manchester man found urinating in a Main Street parking lot at 11:30 p.m. will be summoned on charges of disorderly conduct and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

The other three are being summoned for being minors in possession of alcohol and violating the town’s open container bylaw after incidents on Phillips Street, Triangle Street and Hobart Lane, Foster said.

Police also twice responded to 45 Phillips St., the first time at 11:49 p.m. for an intoxicated woman who fell down a staircase and was bleeding from her head. The woman was conscious and alert and Nelson said paramedics were able to take care of her at the scene.

The second time, at 12:37 a.m., police assisted residents in removing people outside the building who were trying to get inside.

Police cleared out large parties at Salem Place at 12:04 a.m. and on Pine Street at 12:26 a.m., kept the peace at disturbances on Hobart Lane, Phillips Street and Main Street around 12:30 a.m., removed people causing problems on a College Street porch at 1:04 a.m. and dispersed people walking home from Presidential Apartments at 950 North Pleasant St. around 2:15 a.m.

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