LEWISTON — A police officer and an unknown number of Bates College students were injured early Wednesday morning after a party at a freshman dorm on North Bardwell Street got out of hand, according to officials and witnesses at the scene.
Students — both men and women — were arrested after police were called to break up a crowd of 200 unruly students gathered outside Smith Hall dormitory after midnight.
Police officers from Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon and Sabattus, and the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department and Maine State Police were called to help disperse the crowd.
Lewiston police Sgt. Rob Ullrich suffered a leg injury and was taken by ambulance to a hospital. According to WMTW, his leg was broken in two places.
A number of students, bruised and bloodied, were also being loaded into ambulances. Others roaming the street were shirtless and barefoot.
At 12:15 a.m., police walked about 50 students away from Smith Hall toward the quad, where they stood in front of Parker Hall shouting insults at police.
Meanwhile, police cruisers and vans were taking an unknown number of students to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.
Students said the gathering began as seniors celebrating the end of the year moved to Smith Hall, the freshman dorm that is home to about 180 students.
Lewiston Police told WMTW that an ambulance was called for a girl who needed assistance. They reported that police said students blocked the ambulance from assisting the girl, and that once college security broke through the crowd, the partiers became unruly.
According to sophomore Romina Istratii, ambulances came before the police and took several students away. Istratii said once police arrived, they were abusive to students, pulling hair and pepper spraying even nonviolent bystanders.
“It was barbaric,” she said. Istratii said police yelled at her and threatened to arrest her when she asked what was happening, and said they arrested a female student while refusing to read her her rights.
WMTW reports that nine were arrested on charges of failure to disperse and disorderly conduct.
North Bardwell Street runs between the college football field and Lake Andrews on the campus.
Bates College commencement is set to take place Sunday.