Easter weekend parties broken up in Amherst
AMHERST — Drunken people attending a party on Route 116 and crossing the highway near the Sunderland town line prompted Amherst police, concerned about safety, to disperse the guests Friday night.
Detective David Foster said an estimated 500 to 700 people were at the 500 Sunderland Road address, with many dropped off by taxicabs that were lined up along the road as police began clearing the scene at 11:43 p.m.
Foster said many intoxicated people were walking along and crossing the road, which has no sidewalks or crosswalks, and where vehicles routinely travel in excess of 50 mph.
“It was a very, very bad place to have a party with kids walking like that,” Foster said.
Police had not received a noise complaint as they typically do, Foster said, because the house where the party was held is in an isolated area near the empty building that once housed the BioShelters business. But Foster said besides the dangers from the passing traffic, the property includes ponds that police were worried might pose a hazard to incapacitated guests.
Police parked cruisers with lights flashing along the edge of the road and spent about an hour clearing people from the area. Most were cooperative, Foster said, but Aedan Levi Greene, 19, of Vineyard Haven, was arrested on a charge of failure to disperse from a riot after he laughed at officers giving dispersal orders and instead stood his ground and began sending text messages on his smart phone.
A 23-year-old Sacramento, Calif., man, determined to be responsible for the residence, was issued a $300 citation for violating the town’s nuisance house bylaw, Foster said.
The party was one of numerous incidents involving alcohol consumption during the Easter weekend.
Police responded to a party Saturday night, when officers received complaints about a loud gathering featuring a live band playing at 11:42 p.m. at 665 West St.
When police got there, they found about 250 guests inside and 25 cars parked along both West Street and Longmeadow Drive.
Three people at the house, identified as two 21-year-old Amherst men and one 21-year-old Northampton man, were each issued both noise and nuisance house tickets, meaning they will be responsible for a total of $1,800 in fines, Foster said.
The activity began at 5:13 p.m. Friday, when police warned 15 people loitering on the lawn at 800 North Pleasant St. to not let things get out of hand.
At 6:29 p.m., police returned to the residence and advised the people to remove signs reading “you honk, we drink” and “free beer.”
At 11:05 p.m. Friday, police issued a $300 noise ticket to a tenant at 599 South East St., where 75 people gathered for a loud party, Foster said.
In the early morning hours Saturday, police encouraged people drinking on the roof of 1190 North Pleasant St. to come down at 12:30 a.m., cleared out a loud party at 35 Hazel Ave. at 1:50 a.m. and sent 60 people on their way from Hobart Lane after fireworks were set off at 2:02 a.m.
And at 2:48 a.m. Sunday, police attempted to locate people who tried to light a vehicle and a table on fire in the parking lot at Brandywine Apartments.
No major damage was caused, but the people fled and were not found, Foster said.