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Amherst officer hit by unopened beer can during weekend arrests

AMHERST — Police Chief Scott P. Livingstone said Monday he is concerned that for the second weekend in a row, an Amherst police officer was struck with a beer can.

The latest incident began early Saturday morning, when a woman with an open container of alcohol at the intersection of Butterfield Terrace and North Pleasant Street caused a commotion and drew a crowd of onlookers, said Detective David Foster.

While the woman was being arrested at 12:25 a.m., someone in the crowd, who was not identified, tossed the unopened can of beer. The officer did not suffer a serious injury and his assailant was not located, Foster said.

Livingstone called the incident “very concerning,” observing that both officers hit this month were fortunate to suffer only bruises near their necks and shoulders. Neither officer required hospital treatment nor missed any work.

Beer can- and bottle-throwing has been increasing in frequency at Amherst parties, including in the spring at a large gathering at Townehouse Apartments following the Blarney Blowout when both police officers and firefighters were targeted.

The woman arrested, identified as Melissa Leah Gentile, 21, of Longmeadow, was taken into custody on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and violating the town’s open container bylaw, Foster said.

Meanwhile, at least one injury requiring hospital treatment was reported during the weekend. At 3:38 p.m. Sunday, police were contacted by the mother of a man who suffered a broken jaw about 1:30 a.m. while visiting Amherst. She told police her son’s jaw was broken in two places and that he was being treated at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Police did not have any further details.

Throughout the weekend, alcohol-fueled activity was steady for police, with officers breaking up parties in several residential neighborhoods and making arrests and issuing tickets that could net $4,200 in fines for violations of the town’s noise and nuisance house bylaws.

These responses began Friday at 11:28 p.m. on Meadow Street. A loud party with 50 or more people was broken up, with a 20-year-old Melrose man being issued a $300 ticket for violating the town’s noise bylaw.

Incidents continued Saturday at 12:19 a.m., when police went to a Grantwood Drive home where loud music was being played and people were talking loudly. The men in charge of the house did not assist police in clearing the party, Foster said. “They were not cooperative, in general,” he added.

Maxwell Albert Carter, 20, of Newton; Dalton Christopher Lewis, 19, of New York City; and Luke Richardson, 19, of 893 West St., were all arrested on charges of violating the town’s noise bylaw, Foster said.

At 12:57 a.m., officers were called to a loud party at a Shumway Street home, where one resident was issued a $300 ticket for violating the town’s noise bylaw, Foster said.

While there, a partyer caused a disturbance by yelling profanities at officers.

Matthew B. Agin, 22, of 31 River Drive, Hadley, was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct, Foster said.

Saturday at 1:24 a.m., police responded to an East Pleasant Street home near the intersection with Pine Street, drawn there after guests at party urinated on a neighboring yard. Foster said police spent about 50 minutes clearing the gathering, which included a number of underage people.

Stephen Francis Gardner, 21, of Rockland; Scott Gomes, 20, of East Wareham; and Timothy M. Vanlew, 20, of Pawling, N.Y., were all arrested on charges of violating the town’s noise and nuisance house bylaws, Foster said.

Saturday at 11:58 p.m., a woman at a Taylor Street home was issued a $300 ticket for violating the noise bylaw after she attempted to hide guests inside her home and in the back yard.

This was followed Sunday at 2:45 a.m., when police went to a Longmeadow Drive home where a disc jockey was set up in the basement and officers spent more than 20 minutes getting the house quiet, Foster said.

Euclides A. Dos Santos, 27, of 86 Longmeadow Drive, was arrested on a charge of violating the town’s noise bylaw, Foster said. A 29-year-old Amherst man was issued a $300 ticket for the same offense, Foster said.

In another incident involving alcohol, at 10:47 p.m. Friday a man crossed onto a yard on Fearing Street where a fence was set up to keep people out. Michael R. Brown, 20, of Burlington, was arrested on charges of trespassing and being a minor in possession of alcohol, Foster said.

Fights at a bus stop on East Pleasant Street downtown, where numerous people were trying to board a bus Sunday at 1:29 a.m., were broken up by police.

There was also limited property damage, including Saturday at 2:45 a.m. when North Pleasant Street residents reported people passing by the home on foot threw a brick through a car window.

During the weekend, police arrested or summoned 37 individuals for being minors in possession of alcohol or violating the town’s open container bylaw. Officers also issued 14 warnings to residents holding loud parties or playing loud music.

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