Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Blarney Blowout Surcharge?

Blarney Blowout confrontation near Pi Kappa Alpha frathouse

In Eastern Hampshire District Court on Monday one of the more egregious Blarney Blowout arrestees, Zach Bodine, age 23,  came before Judge Payne for a, hopefully, final disposition plea deal.

 Zach Bodine, age 23

The prosecution read the charges to the Judge as though the case were going to trial:  Mr Bodine was arrested at the "infamous Blarney Blowout" at the scene of the largest confrontation in and around Pike frathouse on the corner of North Pleasant and Fearing Street.

After police had given an order to disperse they came under fire from projectiles including cans and bottles, some of them launched from a 3rd floor balcony. 

Mr. Bodine, who was intoxicated at the time, was given a direct order to disperse which he responded to by challenging the officers and then getting into a physical wresting match.  He lost.



His court appointed attorney told Judge Payne the facts presented by the prosecution were indeed "egregious," but they represented an uncharacteristic, "once in a lifetime incident."

Mr. Bodine had been a UMass student majoring in Physics (with a 3.2 GPA) and worked as a PVTA driver, but dropped out last winter.

He would like to return to UMass and finish up his degree.

Judge Payne first asked the prosecution if the town and officers involved were aware of the settlement agreement?  The ADA responded, "Yes".

The Judge then handed down the sentence:  Six months probation with all charges continued without a finding, $50/month probation fee, 40 hours community service, no alcohol during probation period, and finally a $200 "restitution fee" paid to the town for police reimbursement.

Should Judge Payne institute that restitution fee on all 53 Blarney Blowout arrestees it would go a long way towards covering the $13,000 in overtime costs incurred by the APD that ignoble day.  




11 comments:

Adam Sweet said...

This is Amherst's form of punishment? Pay a $50 fine and do 40 hours of volunteering for attacking a police officer? Sheesh

Larry Kelley said...

Well it's $50 per month for six months so $300 total. And the 40 hours community service is valued at $400 and then there's the Blarney surcharge of $200 plus, the public defender fee to the State which is usually around $150.

But yeah, I probably would have charged him a tad more.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how little a lesson has been presented to these "students" who are here for an education. What have we taught them?

Dr. Ed said...

Larry -- you wrote, but missed the key part:

Mr. Bodine had been a UMass student majoring in Physics (with a 3.2 GPA) and worked as a PVTA driver, but dropped out last winter.

Why on earth would someone with a 3.2 GPA drop out of UMass?!?!?!?

The "PVTA" is actually "UMass Transit" -- for a whole bunch of reasons, you are only allowed to work for them while you are a student. So he's not driving a bus anymore, and I doubt he is doing much of anything else or his attorney would have mentioned it.

So he's hanging out with friends, he technically is "homeless." He neither has a job nor any real plans for the future beyond "hoping to finish" his degree. He really has nothing to do but raise hell and get into trouble -- the human equivalent of a pile of oil-soaked rags.

He really has "nothing to loose" -- and that's not good...

I don't quite know why piles of oily rags start fires, but they have to be stored in special air-tight containers so they don't. The AFD spends a considerable amount of money (in Diesel fuel alone) going out on fire prevention inspections, and I don't think anyone would argue that is a waste of taxpayer money.

There are an awful lot of kids like him in Amherst -- the human equivalent of barrels of gasoline -- only needing a spark to ignite a conflagration. And isn't it easier, safer, and all-around better to prevent a conflagration than to merely extinguish it?

Larry, I know this involves helping a cadre of folk you appear not to particularly like (UMass students) and that it sounds "touchie=feelie" but if you can prevent these kids from dropping out of UMass, wouldn't that be preventing a problem before it even happens?

The question you need to be asking UMass is why UMass isn't doing something to prevent kids from dropping out. If you didn't have so many kids who either plan to drop out at the end of the current semester (or who have already dropped out), you wouldn't be having so many of these problems.

Dr. ed said...

Interesting how little a lesson has been presented to these "students" who are here for an education. What have we taught them?

I would argue that rioting is legitimate -- as others treat them badly with impunity, there is nothing wrong with them responding in kind.

Larry, I can only think of three reasons why a kid with a 3.2 GPA drops out of Planet UMass.

1: Money -- not enough of it. This is a real problem for a lot of kids, they have enough to start UM but not enough to finish.

2: Administrative quagmires -- you will not believe how many kids get chewed up in the gears of that institution. I've made an issue of this over the years -- it's part of why I am ever so popular with those folk.

3: Personal/psych problems for which no help is available. From what I've seen, students seeking help are either totally ignored or locked up in the psych ward -- CCPH appears unable to comprehend the concept of a middle ground.

I have never felt as alone as I did at 1AM one morning on the 16th floor of the Tower Library. I am protecting the confidentiality of others so all I can say is that I realized that *I* was the only thing those kids had, and I had absolutely no backup. This is why I say that UMass has a binary approach of nothing or commitment -- I was essentially told that when I started to not like the looks of the situation and attempted to call for backup.

So I resolved the matter myself.

Larry, UMass considers students to be a fungible resource -- they really don't care about student wellbeing. They really don't care what happens to kids, if they flunk out or not -- they claim to, but they really don't. I've seen to much to believe otherwise.

If UMass treated students better, the students would treat the town better as well.

Anonymous said...

"Why on earth would someone with a 3.2 GPA drop out of UMass?!?!?!?"

probably like, a million possible reasons.

"hy UMass isn't doing something to prevent kids from dropping out. "

that's certainly not the question they need to be asking. not sure how you think we wouldn't have so many of these problems if they didn't have so many kids dropping out. please elaborate. (also, are there thaaat many kids dropping out? not sure if I really care if they do)

Anonymous said...

Hey, don't blame the punishment on Amherst. The town had nothing to do with the punishment. Talk to the Hampshire County judge. There are a lot of towns and cities in Hampshire County, not just Amherst.

Anonymous said...

"He would like to return to UMass and finish up his degree."

Well, this certainly looks great on his application for readdmitance.

Dr. Ed said...

Larry,

Facts matter, and someone pointed out to me that something I wrote can be interpreted in a manner far different from what I intended.

Writing in response to the question of "what have we (UMass) taught them?" -- I would argue that what UMass has taught them is that rioting is legitimate.

I personally do not believe that rioting is legitimate, nor do I believe that what APD/UMPD/Enku have done in response to the rioting is legitimate either.

As to how many kids drop out of UMass -- it depends on how you calculate it, but it's a lot. Some years, over half the freshman class failed to return the next fall -- last I checked, it was about a third that didn't even start their sophomore year. And the attrition continues from there.

As to why folks should care -- just because they leave UMass doesn't mean they leave Amherst, and I think we all have a pretty good idea what happens when young people are hanging around with nothing to do.

Ask yourself this: what would happen if the State Police were to announce that neither they nor any other police cars would be on I-91 next Tuesday? Likewise, what do you think happens when young people realize that it no longer matters what is on their CORI because they never will be applying for a job where someone checks it....

Anonymous said...

"He would like to return to UMass and finish up his degree."
Well, this certainly looks great on his application for readdmitance.


Who says he's ever going to apply for re-admittance?

I know a lot of people who would like to win the lottery -- I'm guessing his desire to "return to UMass and finish his degree" is on about the same level as that of someone who buys a MegaBucks ticket.

If you drop out with a 3.2 GPA, you really aren't planning to come back (although you can honestly tell Judge Payne that "you'd like to"). Much like the person buying the lottery ticket "would like to" win the prize....

Once you drop out of college, the financial aid system considers it the same as graduating with loan repayment starting a few months later. If not worse -- in a lot of cases kids have to immediately pay back money which UMass gets to keep, money which the kids don't have.

Almost inevitably you go into default and it's all over. In addition to the damage this does to your credit rating, it precludes you from borrowing the additional money necessary to go back to UMass. So unless you win that MegaBucks drawing, you're not gonna be going back....

Anonymous said...

He left school because he was paying for everything himself. School, rent, books, food, everything. Hence the job with the PVTA you fucking ass clowns.