More than 50 people were arrested Saturday after an annual off-campus St. Patrick's Day party known as the Blarney Blowout boiled over near the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
State, Amherst and campus police reportedly responded to the apartment complex party, where students were allegedly throwing bottles at police.
Thousands attended the party, according to The Daily Collegian.
Four officers were hurt, according to reports, although they did not require medical attention. Partygoers also suffered injuries, according to Amherst police.
The Republican in Springfield reported that police in full gear fired paintball-style guns loaded with pepper spray at students after they allegedly set off fireworks. Police began responding to calls related to the celebration at 10 a.m., and by 8 p.m., officers were still breaking up fights, responding to noise complaints and dealing with drunk people, according to a statement by Amherst Police.
The traditional all-day party marks the start of Spring Break for students; drinking typically begins early in the day.
Most of those arrested have been charged with failing to disperse, police said, with some facing charges of inciting a riot, assault and battery with a dangerous weaponand breaking and entering.
The Collegian reported that other charges included disorderly conduct, alcohol violations and assault and battery on a police officer. Police also issued an additional 28 summons, the paper said.
“It is extremely disturbing and unsafe. Perhaps one of the worst scenes we have ever had with drunkenness and unruliness,” Amherst Police Capt. Jennifer Gundersen told The Republican. “It is extremely upsetting. It is very dangerous.”
The school released a statement following the brouhaha, saying: “The University of Massachusetts Amherst today denounced the unruly behavior of participants in the unsanctioned ‘BlarneyBlowout.’”