, Salem, MA

Local News

November 2, 2013

High marks for Halloween Few arrests, friendly crowds make festival a treat

SALEM — Halloween 2013 was more treat than trick.

“It was a good night,” said Kate Fox, executive director of Destination Salem, the city’s tourism office.

Even police agreed.

“I think it went very well,” said Chief Paul Tucker.

In past years, Salem Police have taken as many as 75 people into custody on Halloween night. This year, there were six Halloween-related arrests, and only five before midnight in the downtown, where tens of thousands of costumed revelers celebrated. Unlike past years, there were no reports of stabbings or other serious incidents.

“This is a result of planning, zero tolerance and making it family-friendly,” Tucker said.

The most serious of the Halloween-related arrests involved three men who were arguing and threatening to fight, according to police, despite requests from police to break it up. One of the men was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, the other two with disorderly conduct. The first pleaded not guilty in court yesterday; the other two admitted to the disorderly conduct charges and were fined $150.

In a separate incident a woman was charged with assault and battery on a police officer and disorderly conduct.

One person was charged with violating the city’s knife ordinance, a charge that will be dismissed once he pays a $100 fine, and another was charged with assault and battery and resisting arrest.

There was a report of vandalism in South Salem, a smashed car window on Cabot Street, and large, noisy crowds in several neighborhoods.

But those incidents were the exceptions. Police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski said this year’s crowd “was one of the most orderly crowds we’ve had. People enjoyed themselves. When it came time to go home, they went home.”

People were also cooperative with the extra security procedures, including bag checks, said Prosniewski.

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