As hundreds of BU students gathered for a snowball fight on the Esplanade Friday night, Boston University police arrested a man for hitting an officer with a snowball, according to a spokesman for the university.
Colin Riley, a spokesman for the university, said BU police were dispatched to Storrow Drive in the area of Bay State Road and Silber Way, after learning that large numbers of people, including many BU students, were walking in the road and climbing over fences. Riley said that emergency crews were on the road, responding to the storm.
The police instructed the crowd to move off the road, and exit Storrow Drive via an overpass, he said. During this time, one man allegedly hit a police officer with a snowball. He was promptly arrested, Riley said.
“One person allegedly sent a snowball in the direction of a police officer and it hit him,” he said. “That’s an assault and that warrants arrest.”
Riley said he did not know if the man was a BU student. The Daily Free Press, which is the independent student newspaper for the university, reported today that the person is a student at BU.
A video posted to YouTube titled, “Boston University PD Officer Tasers Student at Snowball Fight,” shows an officer handcuffing a man in the center of a large crowd. As of 5:30 p.m. today, the video had more than 11,500 hits.
Riley said the reports that the man was tasered for throwing the snowball are false. BU police do not carry tasers, he said.
“Someone might have seen a flashlight,” Riley said of the taser rumor.
This weekend’s storm brought about a number of large-scale snowball fights. On Sunday, approximately 50 students from MIT and Harvard squared off at noon for a snowball battle. That same day, a Facebook group advertised that “The World’s Largest Snowball Fight,” would take place on the Boston Common. But Facebook removed the group, the organizers said, leading many to believe the event had been cancelled. In the end, about 50 people showed.
The BU snowball fight attracted far more than 50 people. It is unclear how many attended, but according to The Daily Free Press, 6,000 people were invited on Facebook.
The man who threw the snowball will likely be summoned to Roxbury District Court, Riley said. He also said that it was unnecessary for the man to assault an officer who was trying to protect people.
“The public safety is in jeopardy and we just want to make sure people are safe,” he said. “There is no reason to get mad at a police officer who is trying to help out.”
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