Racoon starts riot

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Fires, assaults break out in campus blackout

By Associated Press, 4/11/2000 00:02

AMHERST, Mass. (AP) University of Massachusetts students flung bottles at firefighters and hurled extinguishers from high-rise dormitory windows in an outbreak of drunken weekend rowdiness, authorities say.

Two arrests were made at a disturbance of about 250 students, two assaults were reported, and a firefighter was injured during an accidental fire inside a dormitory room, campus officials said Monday. The disorder early Saturday was spurred by a regional power outage.

Chancellor David Scott threatened disciplinary action against an unspecified number of students.

The disturbance centered on Coolidge dormitory in the Southwest Residential Area, where students lit a bonfire in an outdoor courtyard during the blackout starting about 3:15 a.m. A campus security desk, bicycle, rug, boxes and other garbage were burned.

When Amherst firefighters arrived, they were greeted by a barrage of bottles, cans and rotten vegetables, said Tim Atteridge, the town's acting assistant fire chief. ''They played it safe and just withdrew,'' he said. They doused the fire later, when campus police had broken up the crowd.

Campus police arrested John Moran, 20, of Arlington; and Jared Bruun, 21, of Acton. They pleaded innocent Monday in Northampton District Court to charges of disorderly conduct and inciting a riot. They were released without bail to await another court date on May 11.

The accidental fire started on the seventh floor of nearby Washington dormitory. A student hung wet laundry over a lamp when the dormitory clothes dryer went dead in the power outage. When the power came on about 4:30 a.m., the light got hot and set the laundry on fire, said campus police Chief Jack Luippold.

A firefighter suffered a minor elbow injury there when he fell. Water and fire damage amounted to about $5,000, according to the Amherst Fire Department.

The power outage struck about 7,700 customers in Amherst, Hadley and several other western Massachusetts towns. Denise Vogel, a spokeswoman for Western Massachusetts Electric Co., blamed it on a raccoon that shorted out a switch at an electrical substation.


-- - (x@xxx.com), April 11, 2000


Greeting to Bro Raccoon from the antipodean rodent activity sphere. Keep up the good work.

Greatest admiration from Bro Possum.
"Keeping the Dream Alive!!!"

passed on by ever grovelling scribe;

-- Pieter (zaadz@icisp.net.au), April 11, 2000.


(Pieter. PIETER! Yeah, over here, mate. Lissen. Wait for yon possum to get a fright. When he goes into his act and faints dead away, make a break for it! Take care...)

-- DeeEmBee (macbeth1@pacbell.net), April 11, 2000.

Ya, that's it, it's the racoon's fault, your honor.

btw, isn't it where Hawk goes to school?

-- (not@me.uh.uh), April 11, 2000.

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