Disturbance on Block Island ferry draws four police departments; they arrest 7 people

The end of a hot and crowded holiday weekend turned ugly on a Block Island ferry Monday night as police from four departments were called to quell "a disturbance" and arrested seven people.

Two people were injured and taken to the hospital with minor injuries, according to the Rhode Island State Police.

Five of those arrested were charged with disorderly conduct (fighting/tumultuous behavior), the state police said in a news release. A 20-year-old Providence woman was charged with possession of a prohibited weapon (a knife). And a 30-year-old Providence woman was charged with obstructing an officer in the execution of duty.

At about 9:35 p.m. Monday, troopers from the Rhode Island State Police, along with officers from the Narragansett, North Kingstown and South Kingstown police departments responded to "reports of a disturbance" on the ferry traveling from Block Island to Galilee, in Narragansett. Video on social media showed some officers jumping onto the ferry from a Coast Guard boat.

More news: Block Island finds numerous bars serving minors; looks to curb 'out of control' drinking

After arresting the five men and two women, the police brought them to the state police Wickford barracks, where they were arraigned before a justice of the peace and released pending appearances in District Court.

Video shows Rhode Island police officers jumping onto the Block Island Ferry from a Coast Guard boat. They were called to quell "a disturbance."
Video shows Rhode Island police officers jumping onto the Block Island Ferry from a Coast Guard boat. They were called to quell "a disturbance."

The state police don't know what caused the trouble on the ferry, according to state police Lt. Col. Robert Creamer. The participants weren't cooperative, he said, but the police will continue their investigation.

'Not our business': Update on alleged Block Island sexual assault abruptly called off

With Rhode Island celebrating Victory Day, the state police anticipated big crowds and six additional state troopers had been sent to Block Island Monday to assist the New Shoreham Police Department in anticipation of crowds at Ballard’s beach resort, the state police said.

Troopers were also assigned to the ferries, but the fight happened on an unscheduled ferry that was added late due to overcrowding and didn't have troopers on board, according to the state police.

Interstate Navigation Company, which operates the ferry service, issued the following statement: "Interstate Navigation acknowledges the poor behavior of several passengers on our departing ferry from Block Island on Monday night."

"As per our protocols when anticipating a heavy volume of holiday travel, added security measures were put in place with the assistance of state and local police," the company said. "We thank them and are continuing to work cooperatively with law enforcement to investigate the incident in order to assure safe passage for all our valued customers. Interstate Navigation Company."


(401) 277-7614

On Twitter: @jgregoryperry

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Seven arrested, two injured in disturbance on Block Island ferry