UConn student in viral ‘mac and cheese’ arrest video was arrested twice last year at UMass

Last modified: Wednesday, October 07, 2015

AMHERST — A former University of Massachusetts student arrested twice in September 2014 for disorderly behavior — and who allegedly broke the hand of an Amherst Police officer during one of the incidents — is at the center of a viral video in which he is seen being taken into police custody after angrily demanding that employees at the University of Connecticut Student Union serve him macaroni and cheese.

Luke Vincent Gatti, 19, of Bayville, New York, was arrested at 9:55 p.m. Sunday at the Union Street Market in the Student Union building at the campus in Storrs, Connecticut. According to a police report, he “was refusing to leave the market and (the) disturbance had now become physical.”

When UConn police officer James Curtis arrived, he found Gatti already being held down by employees.

Gatti was arrested and the officer “learned through statements that Gatti had been refused service due to drinking alcohol in the market,” according to the report.

The narrative continues: “After being told to leave several times, Gatti refused and became verbally and physically abusive with staff. Gatti shoved the manager several times before he was detained by staff.”

Gatti was arrested on charges of second degree breach of peace and criminal trespassing and is scheduled to appear Oct. 13 in a Connecticut court.

But it is the video — in which Gatti uses obscenities as he demands bacon and jalapeno macaroni and cheese — that has brought wide attention to the case. The video was uploaded Monday evening to YouTube, and numerous online publications then provided a link. By Tuesday afternoon the video had been viewed over 100,000 times.

In the video, the manager observes Gatti carrying a bottle of beer into the dining commons.

“Just give me some (obscenity) bacon jalapeno mac and cheese,” Gatti shouts.

The manager repeatedly tells Gatti he is not allowed to consume alcohol in the building. “I’ve denied you service, you’re not welcome here,” the manager says.

Several bystanders intervene at various points in the video after Gatti is seen pushing the manager. Eventually, one employee wrestles Gatti to the ground, and the employee and manager hold Gatti there until an officer arrives and takes Gatti into custody.

Previous incidents

In his first encounter with Amherst Police on Labor Day weekend in 2014, Gatti was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct after allegedly yelling racial epithets at an officer.

The second time he was arrested at a loud party on Phillips Street. According to police, he was the lone person in attendance who was uncooperative with officers. He repeatedly yelled at officers and was again taken into custody on a charge of disorderly conduct.

But that time he also struggled with a police sergeant while being booked at the police station and caused the hand injury, leading to a charge of assault and battery on a police officer. The officer was out for several weeks recuperating.

UMass spokesman Edward Blaguszewski said in an email that Gatti is no longer a UMass student, but declined to say under what circumstances he left the school.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.


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