Two men who sold “shredded vegetables” to an 18-year-old student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst — instead of the marijuana he believed he was buying — were named in the February 18 assault on the student when the deal went awry.
“An altercation ensued when their ruse failed,” Mary Carey, a spokeswoman for the district attorney of Northwestern Massachusetts, said in a statement Tuesday, after the bail hearing of one of the attackers. The incident prompted a two-hour shelter-in-place order, where students on campus were required to stay indoors to avoid a potentially dangerous situation.
The “dealers,” 22-year-old Shawn Wyatt, and 19-year-old William McKeown, were not students at UMass, but residents of town of Framingham, Massachusetts, about 90 minutes away. Wyatt and McKeown are accused of assaulting their victim, Vedant Rathi, with a BB gun after the exchange did not go as planned — presumably because Rathi realized he was being sold produce, not pot. The pseudo dealers also stole $120 from Rathi when he refused to pay for the bogus reefer.
Both Wyatt and McKeown were later arrested, and Wyatt was charged with armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and assault and battery. McKeown has not been charged on the condition that he remains under house arrest.