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TUPD officer uses pepper spray on brawling crowd

Officer felt threatened at Dewick event

Pranai Cheroo

A Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) officer, feeling threatened by a crowd of brawling students, sprayed partiers with pepper spray during Tropical Escape, an intercollegiate dance in the Dewick-Macphie Dining Hall on Saturday night.

The female officer, whose name was not released, ordered a crowd of individuals to stop fighting, but the crowd then began "moving towards her" and "crowding her," according to TUPD Capt. Mark Keith. In response, the officer "sprayed in the general area where the crowd was," Keith said.

The technique worked, as the crowd began to follow instructions and moved out of the building. But once the attendees were outside, further brawls broke out. Six TUPD officers had been on duty at the event, but reinforcements from the Somerville Police Department and TUPD arrived soon after the spraying. These forces were eventually able to calm the violence.

"No injuries were reported, no arrests were made and the event was closed down for the rest of the evening," Keith said.

But at least one Tufts student felt the effects of the spray. "There was one student who approached one of our officers feeling the ill effects of our pepper spray, but that person was tended to and the effects subsided within 10 to 15 minutes," Keith said.

Senior Simone Grant, the president of the Caribbean Club, which hosted the event, said that the pepper spray forced one girl at Tropical Escape to seek medical attention. "One girl had to call TEMS because she was coughing so much," Grant said.

Grant recalled the chaos of the situation when the TUPD officer dispensed her pepper spray. "All of a sudden, people started coughing. We had to evacuate because we couldn't stay in the building," Grant said.

Keith said that the officer only used pepper spray when she felt the situation had gotten out of her control. "[She] told the crowd to disperse, they again started crowding her, so she feared for her safety," he said.

Keith could only recall one prior occasion when a TUPD officer used pepper spray. In that instance, which Keith believed to have occurred a year and a half ago, a reckless driver was acting combative but the pepper spray successfully subdued him.

"It's an effective tool and it would be something that would be less harmful than resorting to a baton," Keith said. "The effects incapacitate a person … You can subdue them and get them restrained," he said.

The event ended at 1:30 a.m., which was one and half hours earlier than planned, according to Grant.

Grant did not know the individuals involved in the fight that triggered the spraying, but she said that they were not Tufts students.

She said that students from Harvard, Boston College, Wellesley and other Boston-area schools attended the event.

Grant said TUPD was not prepared for the event and had failed to set up a barricade in front of the dining hall to organize the entrance procedure.
"It was just a bunch of people fighting to get to the front. There was no order to get people into the party," she said.

She also said that the floor in Dewick had not been cleaned, which led to a 30-minute delay in starting the event.

"The Caribbean Club [executive] board had to clean the ground ourselves and … TUPD wasn't there to open the closet so that we could get a broom," Grant said.

According to Grant, the Caribbean Club sent in interdepartmental requisition forms (IDRs) to TUPD early, describing the nature of the event and the services they would require. "We sent in our IDRs and it's up to
TUPD to provide the service we paid for… They did not prepare adequately for the event. We didn't get what we paid for," she said.

Grant is planning a meeting with the Office of Student Life and TUPD to discuss the events of Saturday night. She wants to discuss how to avoid similar mishaps in the future. "TUPD needs to be prepared," she said.

"It was the Caribbean Club's first big event of the year. We were trying to build up the Caribbean Club because last year we didn't have much of a presence, but it's kind of difficult to do that given what happened," she said.

Grant said that the event staff "did the best that they could with the resources they had" at the dance, which featured Boston-area DJ King Ilabash.

Giovanni Russonello contributed reporting to this article.
 

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Yup, I can see it, all the cops fault. I'm VERY surprised not to read "The cops over reacted!!!!"

I guess this is a story where you can read the glass as half empty or half full. I see it as a dirty glass filled with whine.
 

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Grant recalled the chaos of the situation when the TUPD officer dispensed her pepper spray. "All of a sudden, people started coughing. We had to evacuate because we couldn't stay in the building," Grant said.
Ummmm, that's what it's supposed to do.

The event ended at 1:30 a.m., which was one and half hours earlier than planned, according to Grant.
A 3AM ending? Now that's just a plan for failure. Whoever issued that permit needs their head examined.

She also said that the floor in Dewick had not been cleaned, which led to a 30-minute delay in starting the event.
"The Caribbean Club [executive] board had to clean the ground ourselves and … TUPD wasn't there to open the closet so that we could get a broom," Grant said.
Since when has a dirty floor stopped a dance from happening? 30 minutes to sweep a dining / dance hall? Just more pathetic excuses by the Caribean Club executive board.

Grant said TUPD was not prepared for the event and had failed to set up a barricade in front of the dining hall to organize the entrance procedure.
"It was just a bunch of people fighting to get to the front. There was no order to get people into the party," she said.
If TUPD had used barriers and "coralled" students, they would have complained that they were being treated like cattle at a slaughterhouse to get into their dance.

Grant said that the event staff "did the best that they could with the resources they had" at the dance, which featured Boston-area DJ King Ilabash.
If DJ King Ilabash played some Perry Coumo or Frank Sinatra, maybe the crowd would have been in a more mellow mood.
 

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"Good for her. She had a tool, used it and was able to walk away. I think she made a good decision."

I aggree with you 100% K.Lavoie.

Far too often officers are afraid of the liability and consequences for using their duty belt tools.

Nice Job and I hope she was issued a brand new canister after she filled out her use of force report.
 

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TUPD officer uses pepper spray on brawling crowd

"No injuries were reported, no arrests were made and the event was closed down for the rest of the evening," Keith said.

TUPD wasn't there to open the closet so that we could get a broom," Grant said.

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Ultimately in Campus Policing, it's all about opening the goddamn doors isn't it?
:rolleyes:
LMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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If DJ King Ilabash played some Perry Coumo or Frank Sinatra, maybe the crowd would have been in a more mellow mood.
Never a riot when PerMeister is playing, just relaxation and happiness. Frank however has had many riots at his concerts, so let's be real here.

Dean Martin, now THERE'S a mellow guy!

Ain't is sad their dead.

I did once here of a knifing at a Jerry Vale concert over a pair of wingtips.
 

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....And this is news,why???? Imagine the article that would be written if a Tufts PO drew his/her weapon!!!! Which I can only imagine happens frequently, given the patrol are of the TUPD.
 

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Once again a student group fails to take accountability for a poorly planned event, safety was compromised, and fingers were pointed at the Campus PD for the manner in which they handled the mess that they adopted. How many more days until commencement ?
 
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When I used to work nightclub details, the "toxic cloud" approach always worked like a charm; let loose the pepper spray so it settles onto the scrum like a gentle morning mist. The combatants quickly lose interest, and no injuries to officers.
 

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The stories of OC Spray. I remember when that stuff became popular and more and more police officers started carrying it. My grandfather "sprayed" my dads nose, because he didn't believe that the stuff would work on a big guy like him.

To the point at hand. I can't stand liberals. Maybe its the wrong term or just plain stupid. Everyday I see liberal social workers (with their Obama stickers on their cars) walk into a locked unit WITH OUT closing the door behind them and without looking behind them as they walk out. Some people aren't aware of their surroundings at all.

I'm sure the Cabana club or whatever they are would be crying if the Tufts police showed up too late if they needed the police to "help" them prevent the cabana club president's ass from being kicked in.
 

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No shit...then they are calling for you to save them when some Section 12 has got them by the throat ready to snap their neck like a chicken...Been there, done that..not a thank you, but a " I think the Local PD should have to put their wepons in a lockbox when they respond to the psych unit " ...that made us REAL popular with the Local PD..not to mention got my ass kicked a few times waiting for backup..
 

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When the PD arrive at the hospital, I let them right on the unit if I am around. Usually I know they are coming so I will leave my work area and open the doors for them. Modern retention holsters and common sense by the officer prevent guns from easily being taken. Those same liberals are the ones who don't want you to call the police when they need to be called.
 

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Whenever I hear one of these college student talking in their self righteous tone I can hear the Twighlight Zone Music playing because they are in an alternate universe where there is no such thing as personal accountability. I hope she got a few of those animals that cornered her..Good Job TUPD!
 

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Reminds me of a similar adventure I had a few years ago around Halloween when I worked at good old Regis College. 300+ person crowd with brawls everywhere. Ahh, the good old days!!! 29 Officers from like 9 different agencies. A sight to behold.
 

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But NOTHING happens at a nice quiet suburban campus like Regis Rog, don't you know that? Just the occassional panty raid from the boys camp accross the lake!

Oh, and the occassional sit in to protest anything done by a Republican.
 
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