Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Good News, Bad News

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.  


Anonymous said...

And I'm glad my house wasn't being broken into or that my family wasn't involved in an accident at that tiem, because I believe those few are the only ones on duty.

Rich said...

I wish some of these kids had gone to Gillette Stadium for some badly needed support for the football team.

Anonymous said...

Maybe this would be less of a problem if there were home football games to attend. Do some safe tailgating and socializing on campus supporting the team. Maybe they would actually win a game at home.

Anonymous said...

They used to go to the games when they were in Amherst. Most of the kids don't have cars. How are they going to get to Gillette?
One of the worst decisions UMASS ever made. Moving their games over 1 1/2 hours away. I'm not surprised the attendance there is so low. And when are they going to start winning?

Anonymous said...

This is completely distorted. There was no mayhem, because everyone was very relaxed. Second, nobody I saw was binge drinking. Just because you had a beer does not mean you were binge drinking. I only had one and I didn't even finish it.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, and if you can't trust an Anon who can you trust?

Anonymous said...

As you said Larry...this time. Richard Marsh.

Anonymous said...


Develops a blog that allows folks to post anonymously so he can ridicule them for doing do,

Breaks boards with his bare


Dr. Ed said...

I look at it differently -- the kids are new to town and don't have visceral animosity toward police officers -- yet....

Dr. Ed said...

Take a "four corners" look at Larry's pictures -- looking ONLY at what is in the pictures themselves and nothing more.

What do you see?


Lots of young women who look like they feel safe, who are wearing the type of attire a woman wears when she isn't expecting trouble.

You don't wear flip-flops to a riot.

Women don't wear shorts & halter tops in situations that could get the least bit physical because they'd be worried about them getting pulled/torn and coming off them. Women only dress like this when they believe that there won't be any pushing/shoving/etc.

Women like the ones in these pictures DISAPPEAR when things start to get ugly. At most, they'll be in the lee of a boyfriend, looking uncomfortable -- they won't be by themselves chatting with female friends.

This is not a riot -- this is a large number of young people trying to figure out who they are, what they are going to do with their lives, and with whom.

I've seen Amherst School Committee meetings that were a hell of a lot uglier than this...