• IMAGES: Chaos at pumpkin festival near Keene State


    BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Police and several ambulances were dispatched to Keene, N.H. Saturday after chaos ensued during a pumpkin festival hosted by the city.

    Keene City Manager John MacLean said the incidents started with large crowds of people congregating Friday night and 42 people were arrested.

    There have been a number of injuries reported, mostly caused by bottles being thrown into the crowd. MacLean said he believes that police used tear gas and possibly rubber bullets.

    In a statement released Saturday, the college said that there were several out-of-town visitors in Keene for the festival and that on Friday night "off-campus gatherings associated with the Keene Pumpkin Festival escalated at a number of locations around the city."

    The statement went on to say that incidents in the city "subsided overnight but began to increase again by mid-afternoon Saturday."

    Later in the day, Keene State President Anne Huot, released a statement as well, saying she is saddened by the incidents and that even with efforts made by police and other officials, "there continued to be disruptive behavior at parties in multiple locations around the city, injuries, and property damage."

    The statement acknowledged that she is "mindful that Keene State students played a part in this behavior" and said they will be held accountable.

    "We deplore the actions of those whose only purpose was to cause mayhem," the statement read. "We can expect that the promotion by individuals and organizations of Keene and the Pumpkin Festival as a destination for destructive and raucous behavior, will only increase. And we are certain that the negative behavior will continue if nothing changes. This is an issue that we can only solve together and we, at Keene State College, are eager to renew in earnest the conversation that leads to meaningful change."

    The Pumpkin Fest has been happening annually for 24 years, but started on a Friday this year instead of a Saturday.

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