Tailgating man accused of hitting police horse with football at UMass

  • —MHarrison/via Wikimedia

Staff Writer
Published: 9/10/2019 11:17:22 PM

AMHERST — A man who heaved a football at three University of Massachusetts police officers on mounted patrol, striking and scaring one of the horses, was among nine people arrested or summoned to court during the tailgating event before the UMass football home opener Saturday.

Haijie Qin, 19, of 143 Commonwealth Ave., was arrested by UMass Police on charges of disorderly conduct and mistreating or interfering with a police horse after throwing the football at the mounted officers, said spokeswoman Mary Dettloff. 

“The mounted officer was able to regain control of the horse, but he was put at risk of being thrown off the horse,” Dettloff said.

Three other men were arrested after tossing beer cans into a crowd of people before kickoff of the UMass-Southern Illinois game, Dettloff said.

Nicholas A. Ferraz, 19, of Mansfield, Luka Presburger, 19, of Encino, California, and Matthew T. Rugo, 19, of Ipswich, were all arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, with Ferraz also arrested on a charge of being a minor in possession of alcohol.

Ferraz was taken into custody after UMass and Deerfield police officers saw him throw a beer can into the crowd, and while he was being arrested, several containers of alcohol were located in his backpack.

Presburger was also observed throwing an open can of beer into the crowd, and was prevented from throwing a second can when approached by an officer, Dettloff said.

Rugo was charged after a UMass officer noticed him throwing a partially empty can of beer into the crowd.

Five other people were arrested or summoned to court for being minors in possession of alcohol during the event.

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