Sunday, September 30, 2012

Let's get Physical

Student rowdyism escalated yet another notch late last night as Amherst Police officers had to physically defend themselves against combative college aged youth jet-fueled by alcohol, a danger to innocent bystanders, first responders and themselves.

Last week two drunk students unabashedly fighting in a downtown restaurant got physical with a female Amherst police officer who was attempting to break it up, and early this morning the violent response to APD officers continued unabated.

Around 12:30 AM an officer noticed a disturbance at 45 Phillips Street with about 20-30 males on the front porch yelling and throwing punches at each other.  In trying to break up the melee one of the perps "attempted to free his friend" from the cops hold and had to be pinned against a fence and placed under arrest.:

Officers later cited the house, owned by Stephan Gharabegian, with a $300 ticket for violation of the town's Nuisance House Bylaw.

Arrested for Disorderly Conduct and possession of liquor under age 21:

Kevin John Defusco, 5 Depot Road, Westford, MA, age 19  (UMass student)

 Around 2:00 AM police were called to Hobart Lane apartment #26 Gilreath Manor for reports of a fight involving ten individuals.  In breaking up the disturbance an officer was hit with pepper spray and required a response from AFD to rinse his eyes.

Arrested for Assault & Battery on a police officer, A&B with a dangerous weapon (pepper spray), Resisting Arrest, and Disorderly Conduct:

James M Robinson, 10 Truman Circle, Springfield, MA, age 19   (UMass student)

Around 2:45 AM police responded to 15/17 Fearing Street for reports of a "highly ETOH" (drunk) individual "throwing bottles at people."

The responding officer was greeted by a dozen young men on the front porch who stated Jonathan Jacobs was "going crazy," throwing bottles and other items at them.  Due to his violent behavior they had evacuated the house.  Jacobs was located in his upstairs room but immediately became combative, assaulting one officer with his shoulder and knocking over another.  At APD headquarters he refused to identify himself and was held on $2,500 bail.

Arrested for Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (bottles), Disorderly Conduct, Resisting Arrest, A & B on a police officer:

Jonathan Daniel Jacobs, 225 Maryann Way, North Attleborough, MA, age 22  (UMass student)


Meanwhile around 1:15 AM police responded to a report of a motor vehicle crash on Mattoon Street near Amherst Regional High School.  The driver reported swerving to avoid a pedestrian and lost control because of the "wet roads", but an eyewitness had another different version not involving a pedestrian.  The driver was given a field sobriety test and failed. 

Arrested for OUI Liquor and Marked Lanes Violation:
Daniel T. Kearney, 21 Wing Rd, Lynnfield, MA, age 21  (UMass student)

Sadly, at 1:43 AM, UMass police, APD and AFD responded to a male who fell and hit his head near the Newman Center, UMass.  The first officer on the scene reported the male was on the ground surrounded by friends who confirmed he "had been drinking" and suddenly collapsed, hitting his head.  

AFD transported the unconscious young man to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, where he is reported to be on a breathing machine in the Critical Care Unit.

UPDATE (Monday afternoon): The young man was released from the hospital Sunday at 2:30 PM.  Let's hope he learned a lesson.


Tom McBride said...

The word "Sadly" was used in large letters, a long discussion could go on as to the meaning of this pronounced word, but perhaps we could just say, with all the typeface being the same, that a young man fell and his hit and is now in critical care on a respirator in Springfield. Police acknowledged he had been drinking. No point to be made, it's just too bad.

Tom McBride said...

Apologies on my grammar and proofreading, ....could be, "fell and hit his head"

Larry Kelley said...

Yes Tom, I meant it exactly the way you interpreted it. I try not to telegraph even the appearance of snark when reporting a potential tragedy.

Dr. Ed said...

And when I predicted all of this last spring, people said I was wrong (and worse) and remember this is still the fall. And it was raining.

You don't quite understand how the university treats those students, all you are seeing are the consequences of it.

And Larry, someone suddenly falling and hitting his head -- and needing to be on a breathing machine ought to make you at least wonder if there is more involved than just being drunk.

First, there ought to be an inquiry as to what else might be in his blood because it isn't just alcohol anymore; and second, to merely just conclude alcohol without ruling out all kinds of things independent of alcohol is -- well, as irresponsible as driving drunk.

Anyone remember Adam Prentice whom the medical people simply concluded was "drunk" and actually had a razor-sharp 13 inch long piece of glass inside him? Oh yes, I know the rest of that story but this alone is damning enough -- and until we know *exactly* what happened, I suggest we say only what we do know -- according to friends, fell and hit his head.

Anonymous said...

I believe there is a point to be made. That being that the type of drinking that college kids engage in can have consequences other than drunken, violent, felonious, assaultive, behavior. I will be praying for that young man. Richard Marsh

Larry Kelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Kelley said...

As will I Richard.

Dr. Ed said...

As will I, regardless of what the cause of his infirmity is.

I know it is easy to say he was drunk out of his mind, that (alone) caused him to fall -- on a perfectly level and safe sidewalk that is perfectly lit -- and that alone is the issue here.

Do we even know what his BAC level was? Mssrs Kelly, Morse, do you? (I don't.) Do we have the results of a tox scan yet - I'm not saying what I really suspect happened here and I do hope I am wrong.

And you know those kids who drop dead at football practice? It well could be something like that too.

And the shape of sidewalks in Amherst -- someone as sober as a churchmouse could crack his head wide open with ease in a variety of places, including the general area around the Newman Center.

Again -- something regarding actual objective evidence that this was alcohol caused and ONLY caused by alcohol before we all just conclude that -- is that too much to ask?

(After all, President Lincoln may have had a glass of wine (or a bottle of wine) at supper before going to the theater -- it is not what caused his death.)

Anonymous said...

It's probably safe to say that the concussion and resulting head injury is a big reason the poor fellow is so badly injured. Whether it was caused by alcohol or not, it's sad and we hope he can recover. I'm sorry to see the level of combativeness is rising and not only are their fellow students in danger, but so are the public safety personnel trying to ameliorate the situation.

Anonymous said...

Things seem to be getting worse and worse each week. Totally out of hand! I have no idea what the answer is but clearly what we are doing is not's just getting worse!

Anonymous said...

Darwin's theory alive and well at UMass.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dr. Ed Cutting, stop making everything more than it is. A kid drank to much and got hurt, again. I know an adult alcoholic who recently drank to much and did the same. It sucks. And hopefully this KID will survive and learn something so he doesn't waste his life battling an addiction.
I feel for his parents who sent him off to get an education and are now praying for his life.

Anonymous said...

I'm a police officer in a western Mass town and I was told about this site. I know a few Amherst officers and I have to say that if I were them I wouldn't put up with that crap every weekend. Talking with them- it is getting worse- much worse. That is why so many of them have left for other departments over the last few years. Any many more are looking to get out. It's not worth it.

Anonymous said...

so, clearly


is a problem.

Anonymous said...

I was sober, and witnessed the actions at the second party by the police and students. Both sides were disgusting. I saw students arrested for assaulting police, but I also saw a student assaulted by the police when leaving. He was yelling to his friends from the front lawn to "get the @*%& out of there" when an officer, driving an undercover gray Crown Vic (license plate ending in TOM) hit him with his night stick so hard the student couldn't walk. Maybe this was Robinson, who struck the officers apparently, but this action shocked and disgusted me.

As for the other officers, they were normal and respectful. I was ashamed by the students actions and hope they realize what they are doing to our reputation. Either way, I have heard from all friends still at the university that officers are acting rougher than usual. Perhaps a lawsuit will occur, but this I fear, not the partying, will cause the casualty.

Dr/ Ed said...

A kid drank to much and got hurt, again.

Do you have access to his full medical records? Everything that Bay State knows as of right now? Do you even know what his BAC was?

If you *do*, you violated HIPPA in commenting, and if you *don't*, might I suggest that there really isn't any harm in waiting until we actually have the facts before jumping to conclusions?

He well may have drank too much. It also may be a lot of other things too. And perhaps we ought to know before concluding either way, no?

Moreover, I have personally tripped over things -- needlessly unsafe things -- on and around that campus. I once almost cut my finger off when I fell onto the Diet Coke can I was holding, and that very much was *not* alcohol related.

Facts matter. I don't know them, I suggest a lot of other people don't know them and perhaps we ought to wait a bit and find a few of them out first.

Or we can just jump to conclusions and throw people's reputations into the shredder needlessly with random abandon. Do not forget that Google knows who you are because they have your IP address, and if the kid wasn't drunk and daddy wants to sue for libel, a simple subpeona to Google and a second one to your ISP tells him exactly who you are.

(How do you think the music companies know who is doing the downloading?)

Anonymous said...

You're a total idiot Ed. HIPPA doesn't apply here.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine why Larry continues to publish Ed's lunatic rantings and ravings. Perhaps for their entertainment value! But I must admit, as soon as I see "Dr." Ed at the top I just skip on over and move to the next one. Though somtimes I can't resist reading a paragraph or two - kinda like when you can't resist craning your neck to see an accident or a train wreck.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. October 1, 2012 9:01 AM
I agree with you on "Ed" and the stupid posts.

Dr. Ed said...

To the individuals who don't believe HIPPA applies, I ask but one question: Does the AFD "...engage in any HIPAA covered electronic transactions (the most common one for an ambulance service is electronic billing of Medicare, Medicaid, or other insurance companies, either in-house or through a third-party)..."?

In other words, if the AFD received money from Medicare after 2003 for ambulance service provided (and if it didn't, the taxpayers should ask why), someone had to bill Medicare electronically and doing that once makes AFD an HIPPA-covered entity.

This is Federal law.

Anonymous said...

Does the old SNL skit pop into anyone elses head when they the crap Ed writes?

"Jane, you ignorant slut"

Every time...

The Thin Blue Line said...

APD does violate criminal rights by forwarding arrest logs and other private information with respect to violations to the deans office immediately. I wouldn't be surprised about others rights routinely being ignored.

Larry Kelley said...

Arrest logs are not private. CAN

Anonymous said...


It might be good for you to actually understand the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 before you go telling folks that they've violated it. Larry cannot violate the HIPPA act as he has no duty to uphold it. A portion of the act safeguards a patient's right to privacy by making it unlawful for those healthcare professionals with knowledge of his or her medical condition from talking to anyone about said condition that isn't directly involved with their care. This means that we at the fire department cannot discuss specific details of a patient's health issues with the press or anyone else for that matter, and we don't. We can however state that an ambulance was requested at a particular location for a particular reason. We can also provide information as to whether someone was transported or not, and where they were transported to, and if their illness /injuries are life threatening. We can even release the name of the person transported as long as that person is not a minor child, however we choose not to. Larry, as a journalist is not covered by HIPPA as he is not a healthcare professional. If he were given specific information on a person's medical condition, the person who provided that information could be held responsible for releasing it, however Larry cannot be held responsible for publishing it.

This is just one provision of the HIPPA law, there are others that cover the gathering of medical information electronically and transferring said information between providers etc.

Again, it is always better to understand something before you try and use it in an argument.

Jeff Parr
Amherst Firefighters
IAFF Local 1764

Larry Kelley said...

And just for the record, I did piece together a couple of clues and came up with the kids name ... but did not publish it.

Anonymous said...

We can also provide information as to whether someone was transported or not, and where they were transported to, and if their illness /injuries are life threatening. We can even release the name of the person transported as long as that person is not a minor child, however we choose not to.

Would you happen to have a citation for this? A letter of guidance perhaps?

My quotation came from such a letter advising fire departments that they could actually share information about the patient WITH THE HOSPITAL as that wasn't clear.

My point was, and is, that anyone who has actual knowledge if the kid was or wasn't, in fact, *ACTUALLY* intoxicated has access to the kid's PMI and *THAT* person isn't permitted to say anything because *THAT* person is bound by HIPPA.

Larry gets into trouble under the conspiracy theory -- remember (and I am sure most of the AFD does) the girl who cut herself and then claimed that she had been raped back in 2000? Remember how the DA wouldn't let the (then Union News) publish her name? Enough said?

And one other thing -- if you *can* release names, then you *must* as they then become public records and all. Unless you have a citation or letter of guidance on that -- and I would be really interested to see it.

Who has lots of letters after his name....

Anonymous said...

I sound like a broken record. If you don't want it published on the front page of the New York Times, don't do it. Don't drink to the point where you pass out and crack your head on pavement. Don't party so hard the police have to make a visit. Don't throw bottles at police...I could go on.

Anonymous said...

Ed, all the letters after your name does not change the fact that you are a fool. You are proof positive that a doctorate does not automatically confer the ability to actually do anything.

The Evil Dr. Ed said...

Anonymous said...
If you don't want it published on the front page of the New York Times, don't do it. Don't drink to the point where you pass out and crack your head on pavement. Don't party so hard the police have to make a visit. Don't throw bottles at police

Throwing bottles at the police is a criminal offense and being arrested for that is a public record, subject to the (IMHO, ill advised) restrictions of the CORI law.

Medical issues -- including falling down and hitting your head, even including drinking ones self into a coma -- are something else entirely. No matter how much the person's bad decision(s) contributed, this is something that is confidential.

For example, a woman is using a hot dog as a dildo and it breaks, leaving a portion inside her. Time passes and this becomes problematic to her, and she needs medical attention. And no, you don't tell the entire world who she is and the two really bad decisions she made.

There is a very practical reason why medical stuff is kept confidential -- so that people will provide necessary information without fear of consequences. I have been in situations where I have needed to say "I need to know *everything*, *right now*" and I was told everything -- because I was trusted.

When (not if) the UM students realize that everything they tell the AFD is going to Enku, they are going to stop telling the AFD anything. Instead of calling you to haul the drunken kid across the river for stomach pumping, they will put him/her/it to bed and then call you the next morning when they find the kid dead. Is that what we all want?

Assaulting an officer is a crime, needing medical assistance is not - and that is a big dividing line.

You are proof positive that a doctorate does not automatically confer the ability to actually do anything.

I am still waiting for something with the letters "CFR" in it -- if anyone wants to stop calling me names and explain WHY he/she/it thinks that I am wrong and there is this exemption to medical privacy that I don't think is there, provide a citation to the Code of Federal Regulations where it exists. Or a letter of guidance. Or anything other than just sophomoric ad hominems.

Again, the USAF says that the reason why they are shooting at you is....

pissed off said...

your an asshole dude, its called college you went here so you should know exactly what it's like.. get a life grow up and find something better to do with your time then calling out 19 and 20 year olds for drinking its pathetic.. if you dont wanna deal with it then dont live here

Larry Kelley said...

Actually my family has been here since 1850, predating anything even remotely resembling UMass.

Yes I graduated from UMass/Amherst, attending during the tumultuous 1970s and then returned in 1982 to finish up my degree.

And I have never seen this current level of disrespect (clearly evident in your comments and others of your ilk).

Old saying from the past: "Better to be pissed off than pissed on." Dude.

Or I say here, CAN

Anonymous said...


I'd like to better explain a portion of my post from yesterday. I had said that EMS agencies, such as AFD, can release the names of persons transported by ambulance. While this is technically true, my statement requires clarification. The name of a patient can only be released if an inquiry is made specifically using said patient's name. So to be more accurate, we are able to confirm the names of persons we have transported.

Agencies that do not bill patients, such as police agencies, can in fact release the names of persons transported by ambulance if they so choose. The other information I mentioned, if ambulance was requested at a particular location for a particular reason, whether someone was transported, and where they were transported to, can be released as they are considered "dispatch records" and are exempt from the HIPAA law. I apologize for any confusion my poorly worded explaination may have caused.

Jeff Parr
Amherst Firefighters
IAFF Local-1764

Ed said...

The name of a patient can only be released if an inquiry is made specifically using said patient's name.

A hospital may do the same thing unless the patient requests they not do so. My guess -- and at this point I freely admit it is just a guess -- that AFD would likewise be required to honor a request not to release the name.

The interesting side of this - the St. George (ME) Volunteer Ambulance Corps charges nothing to anyone for its services and when SCOTUS Chief Justice Roberts had his seizure a few years back, they were totally free to talk to the national media because they were completely no-charge while none of the other medical folk were.

Agencies that do not bill patients, such as police agencies, can in fact release the names of persons transported by ambulance if they so choose.

I would argue -- and at this point I admit it is my interpretation of the intent and not an explicit cite -- that the APD and AFD are part of the same "agency" - the Town of Amherst - and thus anything binding upon the AFD is also binding on the APD for these reasons.

1: APD and AFD are both funded by and answer to the same entity - Selectboard/Town Meeting. The are (and are called) departments of the same entity, the town. Arguably the AFD ambulance revenue helps fund the dispatch you share with the APD, arguably the AFD bill includes the APD time -- and on a practical note, if AFD had a really REALLY bad mess (e.g. full school bus rolling over in a snowstorm), APD would be performing basic first aid on less-injured kids to the limits of their training until mutual aid & off duty AFD arrived.

2: The Feds love to say that if one part of a governmental entity is bound by a specific reg (Title IX comes to mind), the entire entity is bound.

3: On a practical matter, HIPPA would be meaningless if another agency of a hospital (e.g. the Housekeeping Department) was able to release PMI because the Housekeeping Dept didn't bill or otherwise itself bring itself under HIPPA.

My understanding is that the entire hospital is bound -- the electricians, the janitors, the guy running the dishwasher. Everyone -- and that is the way it was explained to me when I did maintenance in a nursing home.

My guess -- and on this I admit it is a guess -- is that the same principle would apply to the APD -- legally they are employees of the same entity.

if ambulance was requested at a particular location for a particular reason

The civilian requesting the ambulance is not medically qualified to determine the CAUSE of the need of the ambulance. I got into a lot of trouble once for writing "smoke detector ripped from ceiling" because while I could rationally conclude that upon seeing it across in the far corner of the room, with all its mounting hardware and pieces of plasterboard still attached, but since I didn't see it happen, I should have said "appears to have been" rather than "was."

That is my big point -- it is public record why the ambulance (or fire truck, e.g. working fire) was requested, but that does not make the requested reason to be fact. Determining, on a professional basis, that (a) a person is intoxicated and (b) needs to go to CDH is a professional judgment of a trained and licensed professional and hence becomes PMI.

Ed said...

Addendum to Firefighter (?) Parr --

I am not saying it is easy to draw the line between what you ought to say and what you ought not say, particularly in a community where you both live and are emotionally invested.

For what it is worth, I was a volunteer in the era of "scoop & run" -- and I do know the time & training that people are now putting into EMS. I know some of the emotional issues from when you aren't successful. Some of the safety issues that I make fusses about, there are reasons why I do.

But the thing that terrifies me is what happens when (and I fear it is not going to be an "if") the UM students start considering your paramedics to be agents of the university and not helpers to them and their friends.

Anonymous said...

Imagine how much worse the partying situation would be if Larry didn't have this blog.

Or the other way around.

Larry Kelley said...

"Blame the messenger." Gee, I've never heard that before. You must be a Psych major. CAN