Report Faults Town, UMass For 'Blarney Blowout' Party Problems

A new report examining what went wrong at the so-called Blarney Blowout parties in Amherst last March faults both the University of Massachusetts for failing to recognize the potential for things to get out of hand and the town of Amherst's police for the premature use of pepper spray to disperse crowds.

The report released Thursday was the result of an investigation conducted by former Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis.

Dozens of people, including many students, were arrested and four police officers suffered minor injuries when alcohol-fueled pre-St. Patrick's Day celebrations got out of control in several areas around town.

Davis' 65-page report says town police were "overwhelmed and unprepared."

UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Amherst Town Manager John Musante say they are taking seriously the report's recommendations for avoiding similar problems in the future.

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