Falmouth Police Arrest Four During ‘Large Disturbance’ at Wampanoag Ball

PoliceOfficerNORTH FALMOUTH – Falmouth police called in all available officers and reinforcements from four other law enforcement departments after what they described as a “large disturbance” during the Mashpee Wampanoag’s 19th Annual Ball last night at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth.

According to a press release issued this morning from Falmouth Police Sergeant Chris Hamilton, detail officers working the Wampanoag Ball at the Sea Crest requested assistance due to a large disturbance.

All available Falmouth Officers responded, as well as two officers from Mashpee and a Barnstable County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit.

When back-up arrived the situation had calmed down, according to police, however, numerous attendees of the ball were still inside the function room. Police said, one arrest resulted from the initial altercation.

Officers assisted resort security in clearing out the function area and moving attendees toward their vehicles or hotel rooms.

Several other disturbances broke-out in the hallways of the resort resulting in a second arrest, according to police.

Several police officers remained at the resort to help maintain the peace.

Several people also became trapped in an elevator, which police said was most likely due to the fact that the elevator was overloaded and the occupants were smoking inside.

The occupants of the elevator were freed by the Falmouth Fire Department personnel after approximately one hour. Police said after they were freed, the people who had been in the elevator became volatile and extremely aggressive.

Several police officers and supervisors attempted to calm the situation, but were vastly outnumbered.

Mutual aid responded from Mashpee, Bourne, Barnstable County Sheriff’s office, and the State Police.

Teams of officers were then deployed throughout the resort to ensure that persons either went into their rooms or left the resort. Two more arrests were made at that time, police said.

Officers remained on scene until no other disturbances were observed or reported. In total, four arrests were made during this incident.

Falmouth police reached today said they could not comment on the incident at the Sea Crest at this time.

George Regan of Regan Communications, the tribe’s public relations firm, issued a statement about the incident, calling the incident “a brief altercation” that happened after the ball had concluded.

Regan stated, “Last evening, the annual Mashpee Wampanoag Ball was once again held at the Sea Crest Hotel in Falmouth. The successful event was a gathering of Tribal members and guests to both celebrate their culture and enjoy a great evening with friends and family. Unfortunately, after the Ball had concluded and many tribal members had left, a brief altercation occurred that resulted in damage to the hotel and disruption to hotel guests.”

The statement from Regan continued, “Fortunately, local police departments and the State Police quickly responded. They were able to defuse the situation quickly and arrested those responsible for the disturbance. We want to thank the police officers who responded and will do all that we can to see that those responsible for this incident are prosecuted and held fully responsible for what occurred. This behavior is totally unacceptable and we pledge our complete and total cooperation with the ongoing investigation.”

Regan concluded, “We also want to extend our apologies to the Sea Crest Hotel and their guests for the unfortunate incident. The Sea Crest Hotel is a wonderful resort and has been a friend to the Tribe and the community for many years.”

According to a press release received earlier this month from Regan Communication’s the theme of this year’s ball was “Celebrating Our Circle of Life” and the event was billed as “an evening of fun and elegance for the whole community, as well as a celebration of the heritage and culture of the Mashpee Wampanoag.”

The event was scheduled to begin with a traditional prayer, drumming and special acknowledgements. The winners of the 2015 awards were to be announced. Through an open nomination process, four community members were to be chosen to receive the Osamequen, Wampanoag Business and Leadership, Alice May Lopez Award for Advocacy and Volunteerism and the Lewis Guritz Spirit awards. Each recipient would be honored during the early program.

Entertainment was to be provided by DJ Robert Peters and Live Performance by Chops Turner.

According to the press release, each year, all the funds raised at the Ball are dedicated to specific Tribal interests. This year, the Ball committee was to continue the efforts from the 2014 event, and once again direct all net proceeds to the construction of a safe and secure playground potentially located on Tribal grounds near the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Community & Government Center.

The Ball is a formal event for those 21 and over and is open to the public, according to the release.

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