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Disturbances, fights ring in new year in Amherst

Detective David Foster said the only arrest related to these incidents was made Tuesday at 1:16 a.m., when five men allegedly threatened a driver who was forced to make an abrupt stop on North Pleasant Street after one of the men jumped in front of his vehicle.

Once the men surrounded the car, the driver got out and called for police assistance, Foster said.

Chad William Prigmore, 21, of 1040 North Pleasant St., unit 326, was arrested at the scene on a charge of disorderly conduct, Foster said.

Foster said police are continuing to investigate to determine whether additional charges should be brought against anyone else involved.

The incidents began Monday at 10:56 p.m. when a bouncer at a downtown bar called for assistance in removing an intoxicated man. The man was located a short time later at a nearby restaurant and advised not to return to the bar.

Tuesday at 12:53 a.m., police asked a man to stop yelling after he left a downtown bar. He told police he would go home.

Less than 10 minutes later, officers were called to Hobart Lane and Shumway Street concerning fights in progress. On Hobart Lane, one person reported being struck, but neither the assailant nor other combatants were located.

At 1:56 a.m., police calmed down people fighting on the porch of a Kellogg Avenue home and dealt with six people out of control at a North Pleasant Street home.

Police Chief Scott Livingstone said he couldn’t explain why his department saw an uptick in activity, but said that it fits the pattern of increased calls for service even during periods that are typically less busy.

Livingstone speculated that, even with winter break under way at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College and Hampshire College, many college students may be returning to Amherst early because they have jobs in town.

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