Blarney Blowout: 73 Arrested at UMass St. Patrick's Day Party

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 11:57 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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More than 70 people were arrested or issued summoned by Amherst police at the University of Massachusetts' annual Pre-St. Patrick's Day "Blarney Blowout" gathering over the weekend that attracted upwards of 4,000 people.

Authorities told MassLive.com that arrest charges range from nuisance house violations to assault with a deadly weapon and assault and battery of a police officer. Four officers were injured in the clashes. The biggest disturbances occurred at the Brandywine Apartments and the Townehouse of Amherst Condominiums. 

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University of Massachusetts Chancelor Kumble Subbaswamy told MassLive.com that the incident "brought shame on our fine university."

Police in riot gear showed up on campus to control the crowd.

"As a proud UMass alum, I share the frustration, embarrassment and anger over the events of the weekend," Amherst town manager John Musante, told Gazettenet.com. 

The majority of the arrests were for minor violations, and the repercussions range from  probation to a $100 fine and a one-day alcohol education seminar at the cost of $50.

Some students have complained that police overreacted and have planned a march on Tuesday to protest the arrests.

"We will be gathering (Tuesday) at the Student Union in order to protest the actions of the local and campus police departments in conjunction with the Chancellor's office," a statement on the THIS IS UMASS Facebook page read. 

"This is our opportunity to join as students and have our voices heard about this weekends (sic) police brutality, lack of safe student spaces, and the disconnect between students and administration. This is peaceful event to show administration what the real UMass looks like; a proactive student body that won't allow them to slander the UMass name," the statement continued.

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