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Family disturbances, fights keep Amherst police busy during Christmas holiday

The most serious incident was reported to police Christmas Day at 2:08 p.m. at a South Amherst home, where a man allegedly used a table leg to strike another member of his family, said Detective Gregory Wise. The man also is alleged to have threatened people at the home with a knife, though that weapon was not located, Wise said.

Ricardo A. Scantlebury, 56, of 188 East Hadley Road, Unit 125 A1, was arrested on charges of domestic assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, Wise said.

The victim was evaluated and treated by Amherst Fire Department paramedics, but refused transport to a hospital, Wise said.

The day after Christmas, a 16-year-old Amherst boy was arrested at 10:49 a.m. on charges of domestic assault and assault with a dangerous weapon after he threatened to injure his mother with a knife, Wise said.

The arrests of Scantlebury and the Amherst boy marked a continuation of aggressive behavior that began on Christmas Eve at other locations.

Monday at 3:11 p.m. at Mill Valley Estates, 380 Riverglade Drive, police were called to calm down at least four men and one woman arguing in the parking lot during a Christmas party.

The woman was allegedly punched in the face, though she refused medical attention. Two of the people fled when police got there, Wise said, while the others were located but told officers they didn’t want to press charges against each other.

At 3:26 p.m., officers responded to the intersection of Belchertown and Gatehouse roads, where a man was allegedly aggressively tailgating another vehicle. When the driver of the lead vehicle pulled over and stopped to let the other vehicle go by, the man driving the second vehicle got out of his vehicle, yelled at and shoved the other driver, and then fled the area, Wise said.

During the search for the offending vehicle, officers responding in separate cruisers collided on Belchertown Road. Neither officer was injured, but both cars were towed from the scene, Wise said.

Police Capt. Christopher Pronovost said both cruisers have been taken off the road as a precaution, though only one sustained heavy damage. Pronovost said if the University of Massachusetts were in session, the temporary loss of two cruisers would be a problem.

“We’re able to absorb it,” Pronovost said. “It’s a quiet time where we’re not running as many officers on the road.”

Finally, Christmas Eve at 11:55 p.m., officers went to a residence at Village Park, 497 East Pleasant St., where sisters were wrapping Christmas presents. Wise said one threatened to injure her siblings with the scissors they were using to cut the wrapping paper.

That incident remains under investigation and charges may be brought, Wise said.

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