Thursday, 4:30 PM
Melee at UMass Amherst after football defeat
By James Vaznis
and Jason Rosso
At least 10 University of Massachusetts Amherst students were arrested this morning as police in riot gear tried to disperse a massive, raucous throng of hundreds of undergraduates who poured out of their dormitories after the football team was defeated in the Division 1-AA championship game.
University officials and state police said there were as many as 900 students in the southwest residential area, a dormitory complex for several thousand students, and some were throwing bottles, lighting fires and breaking windows after the Minutemen's 28-17 to top ranked Appalachian State in the championship game in Chattanooga, Tenn.
The Massachusetts State Police sent about 22 cruisers and four K-9 units to Amherst to assist campus police in dispersing the throng, which Edward Blaguszewski, director of news and information at the school, described as a "major disturbance."
At least one student said it more like a riot.
"Everybody just went out and pretty much rioted,'' said Dan Nguyen, a sophomore from Dedham who photographed the melee. "Students were throwing trash cans and breaking windows and the riot squad came, and they were throwing tear gas and shooting pellets at the crowd. It was pretty crazy.''
"Two of my friends were shot and they have welts on them, they are not badly hurt.''
Some students lit trash cans on fire and were throwing them and burning clothes on to bushes and shrubs in an effort to set the plants on fire, Nguyen said.
The crowd started to thin, but two hours after the game ended, there were still 200 to 300 students on the scene, school officials said.
Mounted police were helping to clear the area, Nguyen said. By 2 a.m. the crowd was gone, according to state police
Matthew Brelis of the Globe staff contributed to this report