Keene State, NH Police Pursue Pumpkin Festival Rioters

There were 84 arrests made at the annual New Hampshire Festival.

New Hampshire law enforcement officials are vowing to continue to investigate and prosecute those involved in a riot at Saturday’s Keene Pumpkin Festival, held near the Keene State College campus, according to a Boston Globe article.

Police officials said 84 arrests were made after about a thousand people began throwing rocks and bottles and lighting fires, at 1 p.m. Tear gas and riot shields were used by the officers to contain the crowd.

“The damage was disturbing,” said New Hampshire State Police Col. Robert Quinn in the Boston Globe article. “To turn your aggression toward another human being in the manner that they did is what I characterize as extremely serious.”

Police are reviewing video of the incidents to determine the names of those involved. If caught, they could face first degree assault charges.

“We continue to identify individuals who were involved in the unlawful and disruptive behavior over the weekend,” said Keene State president Anne Huot on the school’s web site. “We have identified several individuals at this point, and we are determining their affiliation with Keene State College. We continue to work with Keene Police to gather additional information and are coordinating with other colleges and universities when students who visited from other institutions are identified. We are expediting the conduct hearing process at Keene State to impose consequences as efficiently as possible.

“I would like to emphasize, again, that the disturbances over the weekend do not represent a great many of the students who attend this college. I am proud of the positive contributions that many of our students, faculty, and staff offered to the community over the weekend.”

Keene Mayor Kendall Lane said the event’s future will be discussed in December by city officials. At the festival each year, an attempt is made to set a world record for the largest number of carved and lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place.


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