Hobart Hoedown shut down early as police break up large gatherings

By Chelsie Field

Dave Coffey/For the Collegian

Amherst Police broke up a crowd of about 100 people on Hobart Lane and cleared a gathering of between 400 and 500 people at the Townehouse apartment condominiums on Meadow Street Saturday afternoon, officials said.

Police cleared out the gathering on Hobart Lane – which was said to be part of the informally scheduled “Hobart Hoedown” – around 12:40 p.m. They responded to a gathering in the quad area of the Townehouses at 50 Meadow St.  around 1 p.m.

It took seven Amherst police officers an hour to clear the Townehouse gathering, police said. UMass Police were stationed at both gatherings to provide additional police presence.

No injuries directly related to either of these gatherings were reported, but a handful of students were arrested on alcohol related violations and there were three drivers charged with operating motor vehicles under the influence of alcohol before 8 p.m. Saturday, according to police reports.

Amherst Police officials said one of these OUIs was directly connected to the Townehouse gathering and another involved a police officer reportedly being hit by a slow-moving vehicle driving to Hobart Lane. The officer was uninjured.

Amherst police spent much of Saturday afternoon knocking on the doors of surrounding student residences around North Pleasant Street, making known to students the town bylaws as well as the police presence in the area.

Social media was abuzz Saturday with UMass students turning to platforms such as Twitter and Instagram to talk about the events using hashtags such as “#HobartHoedown.”

APD officials said they could not confirm whether the disbandment of the crowd on Hobart Lane led to the influx of students at the Townehouse condominiums.

APD officials said more information about the gatherings would be available Monday.

Chelsie Field can be reached at [email protected].