Students: Police overreacted to campus party

LEWISTON — An unseasonably hot night, no dormitory air conditioning and end-of-the-year excitement created the conditions for a Wednesday morning clash between Bates College students and police.

bates students
Jose Leiva/Sun Journal

Bates College students Dan Lowenstein, left, and Eric Devaux, residents of Smith Hall, talk about the early-morning fracas that led to the arrest of 11 students Wednesday.

Bates students react
Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Spencer Collet, a Bates College freshman from Leawood, Kan., urges students to sign a petition at Hathorne Hall on Wednesday.

Bates students react
Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Bates student Paul Chiampa was charged with failure to disperse and refusing to submit to arrest. Chiampa claims Lewiston police officers caused the bruises on his face.

Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

Charles Niquette and Caroline Sheridan, both Bates College sophomores, sign a petition during a student gathering on Wednesday.

Students insist police made matters worse by overreacting to a rowdy but happy late-night gathering.

"I actually laughed at the fact that they labeled this a riot," said Bates freshman Ethan Brooks-McDonald. "It did get kind of rowdy, but everyone was cheerful. It was pretty tame. Nowhere near what I'd call a riot."

Brooks-McDonald was one of the more than 200 students gathered on the street in front of Smith Hall on Wednesday morning in a celebration that ended when state, county and four local police departments responded. They arrested 11 students and charged them with disorderly conduct, failure to disperse and refusing to submit to arrest.

Students said it didn't have to turn out like that.

Tuesday night they were celebrating "Throwback Night," an annual celebration in which seniors visit their first-year dorms one last time, usually providing beer to the freshmen living there.

The dorm doesn't have air conditioning and the rooms were hot and stifling in the early morning. Students said the celebration moved outdoors.

"I understand police not wanting 200 to 300 people just standing around drinking," Brooks-McDonald said. "But it was unbearably hot inside and the students were peaceful."

Freshman Eric Devaux, a Smith Hall resident, agreed that the heat led the students outside. Devaux said he was outside but went back into the dorm when police arrived. He disputed reports that the crowd was unruly and wouldn't make room for an ambulance that had arrived to treat a Bates student.

"Nobody was being belligerent," Devaux said. "They got out of the way for that ambulance. But there were a lot of people, and I don't think security felt like they could handle it and that's when things changed."

Freshman Dan Lowenstein said police arrived and began telling students to disperse, arresting students when they didn't move quickly enough.

Students claim police used night sticks and Mace or pepper spray. Sophomore Ronnie Ead said he watched police tackle and handcuff a student in front of the Dana Chemistry Building, 200 feet from Smith Hall.

"He made a gesture like, 'What are you doing here?' and the police told him to move along," Ead said. "When he turned to go, another one ran up and grabbed him and tried to push him to the ground."

Ead said students began chanting "F--- the police."

The incident was all students were talking about Wednesday, before, during and after classes. Student Joe Musso created a Facebook page, helped organize an afternoon rally in front of Hathorne Hall and initiated a petition drive.

More than 100 students attended the rally. Lauren Christianson said local police regularly overreact to Bates students, especially on campus.

"We think of the campus as our home, after all," she said. "We are just people, celebrating on our campus, so this feels like an invasion of our home."

Christianson said local police have targeted students, breaking up campus parties and harassing students walking at night.

"To some people, we're just walking money bags and they target us," she said.

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 's picture


I can't say that I've read all the comments on this thread, but on the ones I have read, I am amazed at the level of anger displayed.

I view Bates College as a valuable asset to the L/A area. They don't pay taxes. But they certainly employ many people that do. Over the years, I've enjoyed attending many of the events offered. Just last week, went to a wonderful puppet show with my daughter. The Bates Students were extremely friendly and fun to be around. I also had the opportunity to participate in a leadership workshop at Bates lead by Jim Carigan years ago, along with 30 other participants. Many of those participants have gone on to start organizations like L/A Trails. I'm sure there are many more examples of how Bates has benefitted the L/A Area.

Regarding this latest event. I wasn't there, so I don't know, but based upon the reporting, there seems to be errors in judgement in both sides.

I've been to several events in various places, and later read newspaper reports and wondered if we had been at the same place.

If nothing else, I hope both "sides" attempt to reconcile this incident, and work on a plan to improve matters in the future. Don't let a few bad apples on both sides (students and police) ruin things for the rest of the community. There's a lot of potential for good.

 's picture

These idiots at Bates are

These idiots at Bates are fortunate. Normally you put ONE of us in the hospital, we will put ONE of you in the MORGUE!

RONALD RIML's picture

No - he's realistic.

You are a freakin' jerk-off.

 's picture

Can you spell criminal

Can you spell criminal activity and cover up? Dean Carrigan, Professor Williams, students charged with multiple sexual assaults. etc, etc, etc.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yeah; it was hot at my house

Yeah; it was hot at my house too, but I didn't get drunk and throw my wife through the living room window.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Jt...the Batesies own at

Jt...the Batesies own at least HALF of what took place and they're not even owning up to that. That would take some growing up on their part.

 's picture

Go home so we can enjoy our

Go home so we can enjoy our summer.

RONALD RIML's picture

Bates Grads to Afghanistan???

I somehow freakin' doubt it......


"Arithmetic on the Frontier" - Rudyard Kipling

A great and glorious thing it is
To learn, for seven years or so,
The Lord knows what of that and this,
Ere reckoned fit to face the foe--
The flying bullet down the Pass,
That whistles clear: "All flesh is grass."

Three hundred pounds per annum spent
On making brain and body meeter
For all the murderous intent
Comprised in "villainous saltpetre!"
And after--ask the Yusufzaies
What comes of all our 'ologies.

A scrimmage in a Border Station--
A canter down some dark defile--
Two thousand pounds of education
Drops to a ten-rupee jezail--
The Crammer's boast, the Squadron's pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!

No proposition Euclid wrote,
No formulae the text-books know,
Will turn the bullet from your coat,
Or ward the tulwar's downward blow
Strike hard who cares--shoot straight who can--
The odds are on the cheaper man.

One sword-knot stolen from the camp
Will pay for all the school expenses
Of any Kurrum Valley scamp
Who knows no word of moods and tenses,
But, being blessed with perfect sight,
Picks off our messmates left and right.

With home-bred hordes the hillsides teem,
The troop-ships bring us one by one,
At vast expense of time and steam,
To slay Afridis where they run.

The "captives of our bow and spear"
Are cheap--alas! as we are dear.


 's picture

Perhaps LPD has to focus more

Perhaps LPD has to focus more on Bates because campus security is an inept bunch that is told when and where to and how much by leadership. (which proves a lack of leadership)

 's picture

Really Students?? REALLY!!!!

I went to college. Yes there is underage drinking occurring on campus. Is it legal?? NEVER. Especially if you are on someone else's property, open to the public view.
But it's ok, because we were the one's drinking, we were the one's forced out of our dorms by hot temps, we were the one's getting out of control, we were the one's that Campus Security couldn't handle and needed to call in the local Police to assist. What' that?? City, County, and State Police showed up?? Hey, Let's chant 'EFF the Po-LEECE', they wont care.
Ok, the sarcasm has ended!! KUDOS to all Police Departments involved. It's not easy dealing with the snooty group you dealt with that night. I bet some are pre-law thinking they know the laws.................AND I AM NOT generalizing all of Bates Students, just the 100-150 that remained all entitled and snooty. I don't mind Bates. I grew up not a mile from Campus and would challenge student joggers to a little basketball once in a while.

 's picture

Oh, incidentally I think you

Oh, incidentally I think you win a hundred bucks off me at the Cage. I want a rematch

 's picture

to bates1996grad, I was

to bates1996grad, I was struck by your use of the words "perspective" and "interaction" or "interacted with the community" It seems to be a two words that have gotten more meaning than they deserve. Since you were not there, you couldn't gain more perspective. Obviously what has been reported in this paper was initially limited, now the story is unfolding. Since we are using these words, ok. My perspective is from the Hospital Emergency rooms from 1977 to present. I also lived on COLLEGE St for five years. The changes in the behavior of Bates students over that time has been dramatic. And not good. So, its a longitudinal observation. I also have the perspective of having grown up with and been surrounded by.....Bates Grads. A range of Grads from 1919 (believe it or not) to 1977. And, I worked with LPD for many many years.
When you use the word "interacted", it implies separation from the community (Lewiston/Auburn) that you were a part of as a Bates student. And, no, I had not implied that you were anything. Not a corporate Titan or anything else. Bates has separated itself institutionally from the communities than ever before. Sorry to be so pedantic about word usage, but there it is.
It is ironic, at least to me, that Bates Grads, who literally changed history, grew up in L/A. Like you, I am sad for Bates.

 's picture


Two women were waiting to be treated and they wouldn't let the ambulance through. It's too bad some of these drunken sots weren't REALLY abused (instead of their imaginary boo boos) and were refused treatment.

 's picture

Dear Bates Grad1996, even by

Dear Bates Grad1996, even by your own words, even now, you separate yourself from the "working" class. I KNOW LPD, and the "bad cops" (if there are any) don't stay employed at LPD very long. And...where are the "good Bates students?" why aren't they saying anything? I think elitism fostered at Bates spilled onto the streets this week. Although most ED and emergency personnel will tell you it's been dribbling out for a long time. Bates has come a long way from an institution founded to train ministers of the gospel. So....I see very smart kids with absolutely no character. If they had character, they would go to LPD, hats in hand, and apologize for being stupid. At the very LEAST, they could go and apologize for their part in it.
Instead, by virtue of their superior intellects, are developing "spin" to cover their own shame. Sound familiar?
In case you are wondering? Whether I am working class or the unbelievably lucky professional. My grandmother is a Bates Grad, my Grandfather is a Bates Grad, my mother is a Bates Grad, I have a brother who is a Bates grad. Bates has an international reputation for the quality of the education received, it used to be "for the benefit of our human community." They used to promote character, now it seems to promote malignant narcissism. Not a good day for Bates

RONALD RIML's picture

Good One!!!

" It's kind of like sticking Miss America smack-dab in the middle of the female contestants on The Biggest Loser."


 's picture

I know that it is against the

I know that it is against the law, but it is a law that creates a situation where at the institutions like college where something as abstract as age determines that someone is responsible enough to imbibe while others are not.

Good try at rationalization, try harder next time.

 's picture

Spare me the tears........

These college kids throw a drunken party....get out of control to the point several police depts are needed....then they start boo hooing that the big bad cop picked on them? Please!!! I saw broken bottles all over the news report...stupid acting drunk students, it was very plain to see what the cops had to deal with. Grow up kids!!! A few laws were broken that night, face reality like the rest of the world!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Good post, Pub..

Good post, Pub..

 's picture

ya right!

Lewiston PD BOO HOO

RONALD RIML's picture

Hmmmm... Throwback Night??

Throwback; defintion:
atavist: an organism that has the characteristics of a more primitive type of that organism
atavism: a reappearance of an earlier characteristic

Hmmm, could this be immaturity, failure to comprehend simple instruction? Disobediance? Primitive behavior? Self-centeredness?

The Throwback is a satirical novel written by Tom Sharpe in 1978. "The protagonist's illegitimate grandson combines sexual and educational innocence with an alarming propensity for violence."

Wow - two out of three isn't bad.......

Independent panel

"Give me a break" Who is supposed to pay for that?

RONALD RIML's picture

I have to disagree on that.

Two Points.

1. The conferment of a degree is on a contractual basis between the school and the student. If the student fulfills all of the requirments for the degree program, then they are entitled to the degree.

2. If conviction of a crime renders that student ineligible to graduate - you must remember that no one has been convicted here, only charged. But I seriously doubt any misdemeanor charges would ever make one ineligible for their degree.

In 1966 when George W. Bush was a 20 year old student at Yale, he was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct when he and some friend stole a Christmas wreath - the charges were later dropped.

RONALD RIML's picture

I might be

An azzhole,

But I try to be an indiscriminately objective azzhole.

 's picture

I can see the intellectuals

I can see the intellectuals like tron are making the usual comments concerning police being out of line and the college boys did no wrong. Yet the ambulances were called in ahead of the police. Nothing needing the police was going happening there, do you think?

 's picture

WAH, WAH. WAH...........

It's always police brutality when these brats don't behave properly, 250-300 "kids" is a mob, I'm sure there was a "don't tell me what to do" attitude.

 's picture

you're right

You're absolutely right in saying the colleges don't punish this behavior. Then again, why would they? To do so would affect their "Development" office - a.k.a. donations to the college(s). Do you seriously think a parent of a student will give more money to the college if the college actually reprimands the student? This day, age & seemingly dominant social perspective (i.e. - everyone being politically correct)- I HIGHLY doubt that would ever happen.


Did you expect any less from

Did you expect any less from the keystone cops, it is not their fault it is their trainning like instead of knocking on door to arrest they bust the door down throw flash bangs in and start shooting "oh so sorry we didnt mean to kill your 7 year old its just that damn old lady was stuned from the flash bang they are not supposed to act like ah ah their stuned, it was her fault she did not move out of the way and so i eh bumped into her and the gun went off it's not my fault, Thanks for the paid vacation though"

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Didn't the incident fixit is

Didn't the incident fixit is referring to, take place in Detroit, Michigan? Comparing Detroit, Michigan to Lewiston, Maine? What a stretch.

RONALD RIML's picture

Comnparing Detroit to Lewiston??

They're both freakin' backed up toilets....

Ask the Bird!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

He thinks a toilet is his

He thinks a toilet is his private water hole.

RONALD RIML's picture

Danny - Two entirely situations -Start another Thread

Two different occurances, two different cities, two different threat levels. Two different Police Departments.

So you are muddying the waters why???

Unless you want us to believe the Batesies are also harboring murderers, crack, and abused and neglected seven year olds in their student housing. But even I wouldn't go that far. And I certainly didn't condone DPD's actions.

You remind me of that idiot who compared the alleged abuse wrought on the Batesies as that suffered by African-Americans throughout our history.... Whadda bunch of drama queens!!!!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

And there you have it, folks;

And there you have it, folks; straight from la-la land.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

My 14:54 was directed to

My 14:54 was directed to tron, not Veritas as positioned.

RONALD RIML's picture

Tron, my Buddy

There have long been panels set up in place.

You obviously haven't seen what 'Hurt' is. Except for all the 'hurt' feelings blocking up the city sewers over by Bates.

 's picture

Too bad the Police acted with

Too bad the Police acted with restraint. They should have busted a few skulls.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Yes to both, and guess what?

Yes to both, and guess what? I had it coming.

 's picture

Peper spray & nightsticks are

Peper spray & nightsticks are necessary tools used to teach unruly children (like those imbeciles from bates) whose parents had no parenting skills a bit of common sense

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I've been in the wrong place

I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time; many times. Ain't that bad if you use your head for something else other than a soft place to land for a cop's baton.

 's picture

Refer back to A Bates student

Refer back to A Bates student shooting a Dean after being confronted with criminal activity, and other students who committed rapes on campus and then were ushered out of State by Campus officials to avoid negative feedback against their decrepid school. etc, etc, etc. Idiots all STAFF & STUDENTS. A net result od the drug culture of the sixties.

 's picture

And how about Professor Linda

And how about Professor Linda Williams now serving a 10 to life term in Federal prison for distrubiting drugs on campus. at Bates? Fine example of the teaching staff.

RONALD RIML's picture

There's a reason

That some 18-22 year-olds are either called "Bates Kids" or "Servicemen and Women"

RONALD RIML's picture

Some folks grow up

And other continue to act as juveniles....

I even doubt your name is 'Sam Jones'


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