Monday, July 16, 2012

Party Place of the Weekend


Park benches in front of Antonio's

If an Amherst Police officer awakens you from a drunken stupor and tells you not to go anywhere, do not jump into an automobile and try to escape at a high rate of speed--especially when located in the heart of the downtown on a particularly busy Saturday afternoon. 

According to APD logs (Saturday 2:40 PM):

Two male parties sleeping on the benches.  Both ETOH (passed out drunk).  First male was Robert Auffinger.  Second male Michael Williams.  An employee of Antonio's came out advised she knew Williams and would take him home.  Williams was awakened and advised to stay put until his ride was ready.


While attending to Auffinger, Williams walked away and got into his vehicle and drove away.  Officer able to catch up to him and he was placed under arrest for DUI. Auffinger transported to hospital by AFD.

Michael B Williams, 1 Hanson Drive, Merrimac, MA, age 24.  Arrested for OUI Liquor.

Downtown benches are popular spots for the homeless

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

They aren't "homeless", they are BUMS. And if they just quietly sat on a bench and didn't bother me, I wouldn't mind them sitting there. It is the bothering me that I don't like -- I still remember the day when a bum in Hamp pushed me a little too far.

He asked me if I could "help him with a couple dollars" and I nonchalantly said "no." He said "why?" and I said "excuse me?" -- he then said demandingly "WHY can't you help me with a few dollars?!?"

"Because I don't WANT to" I said.

He'd gotten my full attention with that last demand - and was physically blocking my passage -- and I have been told that being on the receiving end of my undivided attention is "intense." I went up one side of him and down the other, round and round him in circles, asking if he enjoyed being a &^%$ looser, if he ever intended to make anything of himself or was he just waiting to die, if he couldn't find a job then why didn't he try to better himself (it helps to have a social service background and know of free programs) or even why not go to the library and read books and maybe learn something valuable.

I did not do this quietly.

He went from aggressively blocking my way to slinking down the sidewalk with his tail figuratively between his legs, almost crying, and I wondered if I had gone too far. And then I realized no -- he had exercised his free speech right to bother me and in return I had exercised mine to explain the cost of doing so.

There was a time when the young toughs would go beat up the bums -- and raise the cost of being a bum. That is now illegal, as it should be, but maybe some "tough love" is in order, maybe we need to start bringing back the social stigma of being smelly and begging for change.

Maybe we need to bring back the poor farm -- where they had a bed and a meal but had to work for it.

And being passed out drunk downtown used to have stigma that would follow you and cause you problems. No more, I guess....

Anonymous said...

If you like agressive bums, you'll love what's happened in San Francisco. They've become so agressive there, one even shoved an old woman in front of a public transportation bus because she refused to hand over money to the pan handler/bum. Gotta love it. It's coming to a town near you!

Anonymous said...

There has to be a distinction made between those who are genuinely down on their luck (sudden negative turn of circumstances, etc.) and those who might be described as professional street people. Lately the latter category is becoming far too prominent in Amherst. It's even worse than Noho. The same faces roaming the center of town, the same names in the police blotter over and over.

I certainly do NOT agree with the concept of "beating up bums" but would not mind seeing the chronic denizens given a 1-way ticket to Phoenix or Fresno or Fiji.

Anonymous said...

Are there still laws against vagrancy or being a disorderly person? Probably not in our P.C. world.What do you think Larry?

LarryK said...

No, at least not in this town. APD just "moves them along."

And they keep coming back.

Anonymous said...

There has to be a distinction made between those who are genuinely down on their luck

That is what clergy are for -- and regardless of the faith, I think that all of us look differently at requests that are supported by clergy, whom I argue do a better job with mental health than the mental health industry -- and for a whole lot less money.

professional street people. Lately the latter category is becoming far too prominent in Amherst. It's even worse than Noho.

Agreed. Saw one yesterday checking her smart phone -- *I* don't have a smart phone....

The same faces roaming the center of town, the same names in the police blotter over and over.

What I don't understand is why 123 MGL 12A applies to UMass students but not to the "professional street people" whose clearly apparent mental health issues make them subjects of police attention time and time again.

I certainly do NOT agree with the concept of "beating up bums" but would not mind seeing the chronic denizens given a 1-way ticket to Phoenix or Fresno or Fiji.


All we would really need to do is have a half dozen of them disappear into the psych ward and their whole attitude would change.

Anonymous said...

Most of them are drunks. The one pictured (white beard) did dry out for some time -- and went right back to drinking. They have more physical and psychological demons than we can imagine.

I don't like seeing them either -- often they greet me as I go to work downtown. But they are human beings.

I think the idea of clergy is great. If every time a drunk showed up in town and some earnest people began praying over him, I'll bet they would leave!

Anonymous said...

the homeless are people who faced at some point in their life a situation that lead them to homelessness also people become homeless for different reason loss of jobs fire tornadoes disaster victims, ask yourself who are we to judge another persons problems? also in light of the remarks that homeless people are bums and drunks things like like these are said from 1 track minded thickle headed people. until you are in a persons shoes yourself do not play god amherst also needs to support a yr round shelter for there areas people it is not springfield's town job to correct our homeless problem. unless your life is free from wrong suop belittling people as though you are wrong here passing judement onthese people. say hell to the homeless person you walk by ask them their story if its cold out offer a coffee or a water when its hot. and the shelter staff needs to learn to recognize different problems individuals staying there have and to work out a service plan with themnot just a cot and bowl of soup and housings lists with waits of upto 5 yrs and how many of you employers would hire a homeless person who made a whole hearted effort in seeking employment im sure the answer is NO with 75% of that comment you have NO right to play GOD and judge people and say hurtful things your life could take a turn for the worse and you could be homeless too.