Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blarney Blowback

Jared Dawon, age 21, stands before Eastern Hampshire District Court Judge David Ross

In a last second change of heart Jared Dawson, a senior at UMass, decided not to take chances with a jury this morning on the serious charge of "assault and battery on a police officer" during the infamous March 8 Blarney Blowout, where thousands of out-of-control college aged youth disrupted the entire town of Amherst.

Assistant District Attorney Bob Obsitnick told the Judge that Dawson was front and center of a large crowd that was being "volatile, aggressive and destructive."

Amherst and UMass police were trying to push a crowd of 3,000 from Brandywine Apartments/Puffton Village back towards the center of the campus just after noon on March 8th.

Dawson refused to disperse and was "hovering" while flipping officers the middle finger and yelling "Fuck you!"  This unruly behavior only served to incite further the immediate crowd around him.

He was hit with a one second burst of OC spray from 4 feet away and wrestled to the ground where he then assaulted an officer with a "meaningful kick."

His lawyer admitted that his client's conduct "was disorderly" and that the Blarney Blowout was a "black mark for the town and University" but Dawson has no prior record, works for his Dad, and is willing to do community service.

Judge Ross paused, then looked directly at Dawson saying, "The difficulty with these cases is with that many intoxicated people there's a real public danger.  Disorderly conduct has a whole different meaning in that context."

The Judge then said he would accept the plea but, "I don't want to underplay the significance of what you got involved in."  So he added an extra provision to the standard "letter of apology".

Judge Ross ordered the defendant to apologize in person to the officers involved and to write TWO letters for publication:  one to the Amherst Bulletin, apologizing to the entire town and the other to the UMass Daily Collegian to inform fellow students of the "consequences of this kind of behavior."

In addition Jarad Dawson was placed on probation for six months (with a $65/month charge), ordered to perform 20 hours of community service, pay $200 in restitution to APD, and a $50 witness protection fee.

At the conclusion of the hearing, out in the hallway, with his brothers and father alongside him, Dawson apologized and shook hands with the three members of APD who had come to Court ready to testify at trial. 


According to DA's office, Blarney Blowout tally sheet as of July 7:

To date, there have been no jail sentences. 

There was a total of 60 cases, 20% (12 cases) of those are completely closed, 67% (40 cases) are still on probation, and 13% (8 cases) are still open and have PTH dates set.


Anonymous said...

I think that is fair..

DaveMB said...

Do you know what happened to Ivan Rudovol, subject of the Gazette story where he claimed to have been unjustly pepper sprayed and essentially an innocent passer-by?

Anonymous said...

I like the Blarney scorecard follow up. Nice to hear what happens to some of these cases.

Anonymous said...

I doubt that either will print it, but I will be writing a rebuttal to his coerced statement.

I am waiting for the now-long-overdue investigation report on the police misconduct -- any word when it really will be released?

And have you folk ever heard of Jackson State University? Didn't think so...

Dr. Ed said...

Something tells me that the police and or DA had a change of heart and were willing to accept a reduced sentence.

Imagine the consequences of an acquittal --- starting with him being able to sue the town...

Yes, a high-stakes game of brinkmanship, but I think it wasn't he who blinked here...

Anonymous said...

Some people dream about sex.

Some people dream about money.

Dr. Ed's dreams are about civil causes of action against governmental entities.

Anonymous said...

Was there a deadline set on the investigation the University ordered around the Blarney Blowout? I know the bill to the state was estimated at up to $160,000 for the study, was that contingent on a timeline?

Larry Kelley said...

No, not really.

They did say in the initial report about hiring Davis that it could, possibly, be done in two months (end of May).

But if they want town and UMass officials to implement new protocols to avoid another Blarney Blowout, they darn well better release it soon since the kids start filtering back to town in three weeks.

Dr. Ed said...

Dr. Ed's dreams are about civil causes of action against governmental entities.


Amherst & UMass Delenda Est.

I'm just back from a conference where I cost UMass an incredible amount of money. And Dr. Ed is happy....

Anonymous said...

Errantis voluntas nulla est.

Anonymous said...

"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
--- Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto

Amherst & Planet UMass Delenda Est!