LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- An on-campus party at Bates College got out of hand Tuesday night, and 11 people were arrested. Now some students are alleging police brutality.
It happend just before midnight. Campus security called Lewiston Police because an ambulance was trying to get through Bardwell Street, on campus, and there were about 250 students who weren't getting out of the way.
The students had been taking part in an event called "Throwback." It's not sanctioned by the school, but every year, seniors go back to their freshman year dorms to party right before graduation. A lot of the students had been drinking, and because it was hot, they had spilled out of the dorms outside.
Police ordered students to get out of the road, and said, when some students refused to leave, officers started making arrests.
The Lewiston Police Department says those arrested were:
- Samuel Guilford, 23, of Surry, Maine for Aggravated Assault, Refusing to Submit to Arrest, Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Disperse.
- Paul Ciampa, 21, of Massachusetts for Refusing to Submit to Arrest, Failure to Disperse.
- Zachary Fenno, 21, of Armonk, New York for Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Disperse.
- Sarah Ewing, 22, of Washington, Connecticut for Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Disperse, Refusing to Submit to Arrest.
- Kelvin Gutierrez, 19, of New York for Failure to Disperse.
- Charles Carey, 20, of Lincoln, Massachusetts for Failure to Disperse.
- Andrew Livingston, 23, of Waterville, Maine for Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Disperse, Refusing to Submit to Arrest.
- Francis Suozzo, 21, of Golden Bridge, New York for Failure to Disperse.
- Kevin Hanrahan, 21, of Glen Mills, Pennsylvania for Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Disperse.
- Kush Mahan, 22, of Michigan for Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Disperse.
- Mark Stehlik, 22, of Buffalo, New York for Disorderly Conduct, Failure to Disperse.
Police say Sergeant Robert Ulrich was struggling to arrest Guilford, when the two fell to the ground. Sergeant Ulrich broke his leg in two places and tore ligaments.
But students say the police went too far, using nightsticks, and arresting kids who were trying to leave. Paul Chiampa says he was one of them. He said, "I was subdued on the ground, and as I was subdued, I was repeatedly hit with nightsticks on my legs, back, everything. I got hit in the face. there's scratches on my face. I was bleeding everywhere. It was completely ridiculous."
About 50 students came to a protest rally on campus Wednesday afternoon. They are petitioning the president of the college, asking for her to form a group that students can go to if they feel they've been treated unfairly by police. They are particularly upset that, at first, the chief told reporters that nightsticks were not used. Chief Bussiere said he made an honest mistake because he hadn't seen all of the police reports.
He also defended his officers' actions. "There's a difference between the use of force and excessive force," he said. "You have situations where you have to make arrests, where people are being physically resistant to making arrests. You do have to use force."
In a statement, Bates College President Elaine Tuttle Hansen said that the school is doing an internal investigation about what happened Tuesday night, and she urged the campus community not to jump to conclusions.
She wrote, "As a college community, Bates has enjoyed a long history of respect between our campus and local law enforcement. This incident is highly unusual for Bates, where the college's values are clearly grounded in personal responsibility and respect for others."