Large contingent of APD officer 53 Meadow Street 4:45 PM Saturday
So once again the marketing machine at UMass pays off handsomely (besides the "world record" fruit salad story) as today's print edition of the Springfield Republican carries the aging good news story about UMass donating $80,000 to the town of Amherst for extra ambulance coverage.
No mention of this past weekend where the "Blarney Blowout" almost reappeared, or that nine-out-of-17 ambulance runs to UMass were for ETOH students passed out drunk.
Note high number of ETOH calls
I was at Wildwood Elementary School playground just after 2:00 PM Saturday with my youngest daughter Jada when I first heard the cryptic scanner reports about a growing storm at Townhouse Apartments on Meadow Street.
So I drove the short distance (my youngest loves the sight of police officers) to check it out and of course immediately realized by the huge throng of students (1,000+) in the quad that there was going to be trouble.
My daughter then asked, "Where are all the police officers?" Good question. I could only spot three. Yikes!
APD officers 2:30 PM Townhouse Apartments. All for one and one for all
But I figured they were simply waiting for reinforcements -- as they did with the Blarney Blowout -- and would simply allow the kids to party for a few hours and then move in around 5:00 PM with the aid of State PD and UMPD officers all safely dressed in riot gear.
Townhouse quad 2:53 PM
I drove home to drop off Jada and jump on my mountain bike for better access to the scene. I arrived back only a half hour later (3:00 PM) and was amazed to see the small contingent of uniformed officers had waded in and dispersed the h-u-g-e gathering at the quad.
Just outside the quad area 3:00 PM. 53 Meadow Street party house in background
Give those boys a medal.
Some people encourage the mayhem
But many of the partiers simply moved to an adjacent party house just across the street (53 Meadow Street) and filled the back yard with drunken revelry.
Although this group was only one-fourth the size (250+) of original crowd in the quad and the police presence was now three or four times greater than the previous incident it still took almost an hour to clear the scene.
53 Meadow Street backyard. Much smaller than Townhouse Apartment quad
Why so long the second time? Probably that extra hour so of partying and the effects of that much more alcohol in the system. After all, this entire event was pretty much one BIG binge drinking affair.
Which leads me to believe that if a harrowing small number of police officers had not bravely moved in when they did early on (without riot gear) to break up the huge gathering in the Townhouse quad, only another hour or two would have been enough time for that army to turn ornery.
In other words, we got lucky. This time.