posted at 07:51
Author: The Associated Press
Arrests Made After Pumpkin Festival Turns to Mayhem [PHOTOS]
KEENE, N.H. - Violent disturbances near Keene State College during an annual pumpkin festival lasted until early Sunday, and involved dozens of arrests and injuries, as well as police in riot gear using tear gas to disperse crowds. Keene State student Ellery Murray told The Boston Globe that she was at a party Saturday that had drawn a large crowd when people started throwing things. WMUR-TV in Manchester showed video of a crowd overturning a car, people running from tear gas clouds, street signs being torn down and fires burning in the streets. Police, who dressed in riot gear and ordered crowds to disperse, also investigated reports of people throwing glass bottles and fireworks, jumping off a roof and banging on cars. One group of young people threatened to beat up an elderly man, and another resident heard someone "Threatening to kill officers," according to the Keene Police Department log, which shows 235 calls between 2:30 a.m. Friday and 3:30 a.m. Sunday and at least 49 arrests. At least 30 people were injured near the school before evening Saturday, and 20 of them were taken to hospitals, Keene Fire Chief Mark Howard told New England Cable News. Gov. Maggie Hassan said state and local safety officials worked to defuse what she called "The situation." Hassan also told WMUR why police were wearing riot gear: "When you have a situation of a large crowd with both bonfires and projectiles being thrown, it's important that law enforcement be in protective gears so that we can minimize injuries to them so that they can minimize injuries in the crowd - and that certainly was the approach they took. I am grateful that there weren't more injuries, but there certainly are injuries this morning and possibly a couple pretty serious ones." College officials provided few specifics on the melee, but said Keene State students and out-of-town visitors were involved.

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