Hamden police break up ‘large parties’

Staff Reports

UPDATE: Jan. 22, 2014

The Superior Court in the State of Connecticut dropped the charges against Maria Sokolovic on Nov. 21, 2013.


Hamden police were called to 14 off-campus house parties held by students over the weekend, according to press releases from Captain Ronald Smith of the Hamden Police Department. From Oct. 31 until Nov. 2, several students were arrested for breach of peace and 13 students were cited for creating a public disturbance, according to the press releases.

“Residents had contacted police to report loud music, loud noise, large group gatherings, parking complaints and a large number of individuals walking in the middle of Whitney Avenue, impeding the traffic flow,” Smith said.

On Thursday, Oct. 31, about 500 people attended a party on Whitney Avenue, according to the press release.

According to the press release, the Hamden Police Department arrested and later released “Antonio Blanco, Zachary Palmer, Ryan Spagnuolo, Brian Macduff and Scott Schubet.” They were released on the promise that they would appear in court in Meriden on Nov. 6,  according to the press release.

Senior Scott Schubert said he and his housemates were not arrested.

“We were told that we would not be arrested, if we gave the officers a promise to appear in court,” Schubert said. “They agreed with us and wrote us a ticket for breach of peace and a court appearance scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6.”

Schubert said he and his housemates cooperated politely with Hamden police.

“We told [police] straight up what happened, we had a party and it got out of hand,” Schubert said. “We did not want that amount of people at our house.”

The university is investigating the weekend events, according to Vice President for Public Affairs Lynn Bushnell.

“The university is conducting its own investigation and those found to be involved will face the student conduct process, which could ultimately lead to their dismissal from the university,” Bushnell said.

About 150 people were outside the house and around 350 people were inside when police arrived at 11 p.m. Thursday, according to the press release.

“Many of the individuals were intoxicated and the music was excessively loud,” Smith said.

Hamden police called the university to bring students back to campus on the shuttles, according to Smith. Using the shuttles allowed the police to get the students back to campus as soon as possible, he said.

On Friday, Nov. 1, 10 Hamden police officers reported to Todd Street to break up a party of an estimated 500 people, according to a press release.

The tenants, identified as “Katherine Fischer, Brianne Mastas, Maria Sokolovic and Paige Mebus,” were arrested and charged with breach of peace, according to the press release. The students will appear in court in Meriden on Nov. 14, the press release said.

On Saturday, Nov. 2, about 250 to 300 students attended a party at Washington Avenue, which Hamden police broke up due to the loud music, according to the press release. The university transported students back to campus from this party, as well. Seven were cited with creating a public disturbance at this party, according to the press release.

At a Nov. 2 party on Darley Drive, attended by about 100 individuals, police cited two individuals for creating a public disturbance, according to the press release,

Police were also called to Rocky Top Road on Nov. 2 because of a “loud party” attended by about 200 people. Four students were cited for creating a public disturbance, according to the press release.

Early in the school year, the Hamden police have responded to the aforementioned addresses, in some instances, several times, the press release said.

“This was an unusual amount of parties for a particular night,” Smith said. “It’s okay to have a party with a reasonable amount of people, but these parties are out of hand with this number of people.”

Many of the party-goers were drinking, but the Hamden police did not have the manpower to check if they were minors, Smith said.

Although the party occurred off campus, the university can still get involved. The Student Handbook states when students who live off campus “engage in actions or behaviors that attract the attention and concern of neighbors or others within the community, the University will respond accordingly.” When off-campus incidents “endanger the health, safety and welfare of others and/or adversely affect the University and/or the pursuit of its objectives,” the university can put students through the Student Code of Conduct process, according to the Student Handbook.