73 Arrested at UMass ‘Blarney Blowout’ Bash

AMHERST, Mass. – Authorities arrested 73 people and four police officers were injured during the University of Massachusetts’ “Blarney Blowout” party on Saturday.

Traditionally held on the Saturday before spring break around the UMass campus, this year’s event was described by police as “one of the worst scenes [UMass] ever had with drunkenness and unruliness,” CBS News reports.

The majority of arrests occurred at an off-campus apartment complex, according to authorities, who said the large gatherings led to fights, injuries, severe alcohol intoxication, sexual assaults, excessive noise, property damage and violence toward police and community members.

To disperse the large crowd, police used pepper spray. Students threw glass bottles, beer cans and snowballs at officers, resulting in three police officers being injured.
A crowd then moved near a fraternity house, where another officer was hurt when attempting to make an arrest. None of the injuries required serious treatment.

Meanwhile, 100 UMass students marched across campus Tuesday demanding an apology from Amherst police, claiming that the authorities used excessive force during the party, Gazettenet.com reports.

The protest was led by the Student Government Authority and started in the Student Union. Students then marched to the main administration building seeking a meeting with Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy.

SGA called for a direct apology from the Amherst Police Department to the entire community of Amherst and an investigation into what SGA President Zach Broughton called the “obscene behavior of select officers.” Additionally, the student organization wants a public meeting between student leaders and local police to discuss how to prevent future confrontations between police and students.
Meanwhile Amherst PD stated that the department handled the Blarney Blowout patrols in a professional manner.

“The mayhem created by this weekend’s ‘Blarney Blowout’ was inexcusable. Our office intends to vigorously prosecute those persons who incited riots, destroyed property, and assaulted police officers,” according to a statement released by the department.

Additionally, university officials said they had warned students earlier that there would be an increase in police presence around the campus.

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