UMass pupil assaulted with alcohol bottle at Amherst townhouses

By Michelle Williams

On Friday, Oct. 2, multiple Amherst Police Department officers were called to the Townhouse of Amherst Apartments for a reported large-scale disturbance to find that a University of Massachusetts student was struck with a glass beer bottle.

A 20-year-old UMass student from Canton, Mass., whose name has not been released, was found to have been struck and injured. While his injuries were not life-threatening, he accepted treatment and was taken to University Health Services at approximately 10 p.m. on the night of Oct. 2.

Nicholas Williamson, 19, of Holyoke, Mass., has been charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Williamson is not a student at any of the area colleges, and his relationship to the victim is not known at this time. He was held over the weekend at the Hampshire County House of Corrections and opted to stay rather than pay the $1,000 cash bail.

If convicted of this crime, Williamson can expect, “punishment by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than 10 years or in the house of correction for not more than two-and-a-half years,” said Lieutenant Chief Ronald Young of the Amherst Police Department. If he is convicted and does not receive jail time, he may be fined up to $5,000 dollars or possibly both fined and imprisoned. It is unknown at this time if Williamson has a prior record.

Several other victims were found to be suffering abrasions and other reported injuries. Their names and conditions are not known.

The Amherst Police Department believes additional persons may have been involved, but currently, Young said “no one else has been charged. The matter is still being investigated.”

In the past, the Townhouse Apartments have been home to other crimes, including underage drinking and several assaults.

Last April the Amherst Police Department responded to a call regarding a 41-year-old man being severely beaten.

In another instance at the Townhouse Apartments, approximately six to eight men had gotten into a fight in the parking lot outside of the Townhouse Apartments, resulting in the arrest of two UMass students. During this particular incident, one Amherst resident was taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Additionally, in another act of violence, two Amherst Police Officers responded to a disturbance report, and when they arrived they found 500 to 600 people congregated in the area. The crowd consisted of both students and non-students. It took nearly an hour to disperse the crowd. During this time, members of the crowd assaulted the two officers, who were then taken to Cooley Dickinson Hospital – one for a broken bone and another for a severe laceration to his elbow. These injuries were due to glass beer bottles being broken upon the officers as well as the officers falling onto broken glass bottle shards.

Michelle Williams can be reached at [email protected]