Amherst police officer attacked; large party dispersed, $9,000 in fines issued
AMHERST — A fight inside a downtown restaurant in which one of the alleged aggressors yanked a police officer’s duty belt capped a Friday night and early Saturday morning in which police responded to several incidents, including a large fraternity party.
Police officers were called to The Sub, 33 East Pleasant St., Saturday at 1:51 a.m. after two college-age men were reported throwing punches at each other at the restaurant.
Detective Richard MacLean said officers restrained both combatants and escorted them from the restaurant. But one of the alleged aggressors, later identified as Elias Dib, 21, of 308 North Pleasant St., unit 9, grabbed an officer’s gun belt and tried unsuccessfully to take her down to the floor, MacLean said.
Dib also managed to kick the other man in the head while he was being restrained on the floor.
Dib was arrested on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot), assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, MacLean said.
The other man involved, James Joseph East Jr., 22, of Arlington, Va., was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, MacLean said.
Both were evaluated and treated at the scene by Amherst Fire Department paramedics, MacLean said.
The fight came more than two hours after police ended the biggest party of the weekend in Amherst, which was reported Friday at 11:13 p.m. at 57 Olympia Drive, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Members are facing $9,600 in penalties for violations of the town’s noise and nuisance house bylaws.
MacLean said seven officers spent 20 to 25 minutes clearing an estimated 1,000 partygoers from the property.
Dustin M. Crawford, 22, of 57 Olympia Drive, and Alessandro Raffa, 20, of Belmont, the president and vice president of the fraternity, were arrested on charges of violating the town’s noise and nuisance house bylaws, MacLean said.
An additional 14 members of the fraternity were issued tickets for both violations, MacLean said.
A short time later, at 11:39 p.m., Hadley police called for assistance at 108 North Maple St., a student rental near the University of Massachusetts horse farm. MacLean said four Amherst officers were able to assist Hadley police in clearing the gathering.
Three additional noise tickets were issued Saturday at 1:09 a.m. to 55 South Prospect St. residents holding a loud party.
Patrick Timothy Noonan, 20, of Holyoke, was arrested Saturday at 12:24 a.m. on Fearing Street on charges of disorderly conduct after trying to fight people, police said.
The following night was significantly calmer, as heavy rain came through after 10 p.m.
“The rain helped Saturday night,” MacLean said.
But it didn’t completely end problems. Sunday at 12:36 a.m., police responded to the Town Common where three men were fighting and refused to calm down.
Terrence P. Casey and Andrew J. Steiner, both 21 and of Westford, and Benjamin K. Swanson, 22, of Groton, were all arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, MacLean said. Swanson also faces a charge of resisting arrest.
Two residents at 62 Gray St. were issued $300 noise tickets for loud noise and music Sunday at 3:21 a.m.
During the weekend, police responded to an additional eight noise complaints in which warnings were issued to residents.