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BU Students Released from Jail Given Stricter Probation

The four ordered to stay drug- and alcohol-free, curfew remains


Four Boston University students were released from jail on their own recognizance Friday morning after serving three days for violating probation by allegedly hosting a second raucous party in five months at their Allston house.

Sawyer Petrick (CGS’14), John Pavia (CGS’14), Michael Oldcorn (CFA’16, CAS’16), and Terry Bartrug (CGS’13, CAS’15) appeared in Brighton District Court, each on two counts of keeping a disorderly house, as their defense attorneys pleaded for their release from the Nashua Street Jail.

Judge David Donnelly granted their request and ordered the students to remain drug- and alcohol-free and to submit to random testing.

Boston police reports indicate that the students’ address, 85 Linden St., is listed as the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) fraternity and is well-known as a “problem property” because of numerous past complaints.

On September 21, 2013, officers responded to a complaint from neighbors and found the property littered with alcohol containers. Upon entering the house, the police believed they smelled marijuana, and they found plastic covering a nonworking smoke detector in the kitchen. They also identified at least one underage drinker. Police estimated that there were 200 partygoers on the property at the time.

The four students pleaded not guilty to keeping a disorderly house at their first court appearance in October and were put on pretrial probation and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service and a house curfew was imposed.

On January 26, police received another loud party complaint and again found up to 200 people at the house.

On Friday, Donnelly left in place the house curfew, prohibiting guests from visiting between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays and between midnight and 6 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The students are also prohibited from leaving Boston for more than a day until they fulfill their 40 hours of community service.

The judge warned that if the students are rearrested or if additional charges are lodged against them, they will be returned to jail for 60 days without bail.

“These are four young adults who should get experience in the city without jeopardizing the quality of life of people here,” Donnelly said on Friday. “They need to understand what it is to be someone’s neighbor.” Considering that their parents are likely to be making a great sacrifice to finance their education at BU, he added, “they should be taking full advantage of that.”

Last Thursday Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore (SED’87) responded to the incident by suspending ZBT, pending the outcome of an investigation by the BU Interfraternity Council and Judicial Affairs. “We believe that the January 26 incident is likely to have been a ZBT function, and we believe that four of five students living at the house are members of ZBT,” Elmore says. “It is alleged that the gathering was organized by ZBT and was part of a recruitment event, and that there was underage drinking at the event.”

Patrick E. Sheehan, Oldcorn’s defense attorney, says he sees no need to jail the students.

Sheehan says Oldcorn, and likely his fellow defendants, plans to move out of the 85 Linden St. property as soon as possible. His response to a question about whether the students were concerned for their future: “I think anyone would be.”

The four are due back in Brighton District Court for a pretrial hearing on April 1.

Leslie Friday, BU Today, Boston University
Leslie Friday

Follow Leslie Friday on Twitter at @lesliefriday.

10 Comments on BU Students Released from Jail Given Stricter Probation

  • Frats Suck on 03.03.2014 at 8:24 am

    Haha sucks for them. Shouldn’t have been throwing parties for underage kids anyways and doing it again after already getting in trouble just shows that they’re dumb and didn’t care. Maybe spending a few days in jail scared them straight.

  • Hassan on 03.03.2014 at 8:25 am

    Not surprised

  • (Another) Important Message on 03.03.2014 at 9:16 am

    Just goes to show you, even kids who can afford paying almost $50 000 in tuition per year to attend a generally average academic institution suffer consequences.

    Who would have thunk?

    Obviously not them.

  • m on 03.03.2014 at 11:30 am

    Is it really necessary to publish their names?

    • tom on 03.03.2014 at 12:26 pm

      Welcome to adult life, if you screw up after 18 you can’t hide behind your parents anymore.

      They are adults who broke the law. The community has a right to know.

    • dan k on 03.03.2014 at 1:51 pm

      Yes, yes it is.

  • Mr. Anonymous on 03.03.2014 at 12:27 pm

    If you are over 18, you are an adult in the eyes of the law. That is why the names are published. If they had stolen a pack of chewing gum and were arrested, the names would be published. That is all public information.

  • Concerned Parent on 03.05.2014 at 7:14 am

    I believe that this school has a vendetta against Greek life, and they will stop at absolutely nothing to destroy the entire system. If you send your child to college and think that they won’t be drinking and smoking, you clearly do not live in reality and need to step off your high horse and let these kids make mistakes and have fun while they are young. It is what youth is for. I’m sure these kids study hard and do well, and party on the weekends, like every single other college student in the history of college. That is, unless, you are the one that sat in his or her room and watched TV on a Friday and Saturday night.

    • Concerned Parent (Real) on 03.05.2014 at 9:36 pm

      Wow, you are clearly a fraternity member posing as a concerned parent. My son joined a fraternity and his grades instantly plummeted. He was trying to hard to impress the fellow brothers and drink on weekends, that he lost track of his priorities. My other son, vehemently opposes greek life, is on Dean’s List, and I expect to graduate summa cum laude. Just some food for thought.

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