Students Claim Mishandling In Police Methods at Melee
Arrested students last night charged that Cambridge police exercised "outrageous mishandling" in the three-hour fracas that turned Harvard Square into an early-evening battlefield. The allegations of more than a dozen undergraduates were supported by additional scores of bystanders.
According to signed statements delivered to the CRIMSONS, many people were arrested "for no reason at all" and dragged by force to waiting police cruisers and paddy wagons.
"Clubs were used freely," eye-witnesses said; many prisoners were cut and bleeding.
One report told of how Paul Rugo '55, who was walking along with his date, was apprehended by a patrolman. He said "You're under arrest."
"What for?" Rugo asked.
The policeman replied, "Never mind, come with me."
The account by Guy Ciannaver '55 stated that "Rugo struggled...and the cop was joined by four others. During the course of the fight he was struck by clubs on the left cheek and skin.
Another student, Theodore Rose '54, elaborated on the story. "The cops piled on him," he said," two holding and three hitting. They used clubs freely, and he had a gash on the side of his face. The cost of his ROTC uniform was open and the buttons ripped off."
A CRIMSON photographer, Norman Weil, Jr. '54, claimed that the officer who arrested him said: "Getting arrested will teach you Harvard bastards a lesson."
"One student merely tried to cross the street," Ira Levy '54 said. "A cop came up to him and said 'get going." He said 'I am, I am,' and tried to get away. The policeman started to push him and then dragged him toward the Waldorf Cafeteria and the cruisers."
Another CRIMSON editor, David L. Halberstam '55, claimed that he had been kneed in the groin by one policeman after that officer had failed to catch a photographer he had been chasing.
At the police station, according to another statement, a sergeant asked an arresting officer what a student was charged with. The officer replied, "He wanted to know the score." The student was booked for disturbing the peace.
One man stated that "Cops came through cell blocks looking for guys who hit them."
Most of the arrested students said they were treated courteously once they reached the police station.