- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 9, 2014

A pre-St. Patrick’s Day celebration near the University of Massachusetts‘ flagship campus descended into chaos over the weekend, injuring four officers and resulting in the arrests of 73 people.

Amherst police Capt. Jennifer Gundersen called the daylong partying during the annual Blarney Blowout “extremely disturbing and unsafe.”

“Perhaps one of the worst scenes we have ever had with drunkenness and unruliness,” she told The Republican. “It is extremely upsetting. It is very dangerous.”

Three police officers were hurt as they worked to disperse students who were throwing beer cans and bottles. Another officer was injured while trying to make an arrest, according to Amherst police.

The officers did not require serious medical attention.

Pepper spray was used to disperse the crowd because of the size and “assaultive behavior,” police said.

Police say charges included inciting to riot, failing to disperse, disorderly conduct, liquor law violations and assault and battery on officers, the Associated Press reported. Some of those arrested had been released on bail by early Sunday, police said, while others were held, depending on charges.

Amherst Capt. Christopher Pronovost described the day as “mayhem.”

“This can’t be in any way, shape or form be characterized as a party,” he told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. “This is destruction of property (and) assaultive behavior.”

UMass spokesman Ed Blaguszewski said in a statement that the conduct of those arrested will be examined by the dean of students.

“Sanctions can include suspension or expulsion from the university,” the statement said.

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