Damaged Property in University Park
Despite the rain, Homecoming ended up being a smash event, with all of the student body and administration coming together to save the day. However, Homecoming night saw the BSU campus become a much different vibe than the family-fun of the daylight.
That night, technically the morning of October 2nd, the police received a report that a large group of individuals were damaging property in University Park (UP). It is estimated that the group consisted of 70 people, but that cannot be confirmed at this time.
Thanks to a last minute interview from Bridgewater Police Chief David Tillinghast, we at The Comment were able to get an idea of the damage done, as well as what happens next.
According to Chief Tillinghast, these individuals were “uprooting trees, emptying planters of their soil, and damaging equipment that was left there under the tents.”
When the police arrived at the scene they dispersed the remainder of the crowd, but at this point they are unable to identify any individuals who were present, but at this moment they are currently looking into individuals to file charges for the damage. It is unknown for certain whether or not the crowd was made up of BSU students, but so far nobody has been charged.
A multitude of tables had been removed from the tent in UP and were scattered throughout the walkway, and the inside of the tent had multiple lights ripped from top of the structure. Trash cans had been knocked over and flowers had been dug up and scattered around UP. Unfortunately, a tree was also uprooted from the side of the walkway.
“It runs into several thousands of dollars in equipment and toppled trees particularly,” Chief Tillinghast explained when asked about damage costs, “the toppling of tables I would place in the category of disorderly conduct but I don’t think they were damaged necessarily. But even with just what I described to you, the uprooting of plants, the total damage was in the several thousands of dollars.”
Upon the identification of individuals, they are planning to charge them with restitution for the damages. However, Chief Tillinghast requested that we put out their offer to the student body.
“I will tell you that, because that is our goal, anybody who comes forward will not be criminally charged. We’re looking to offset the value of the damage if we identify people, and there are cameras in the area. We will charge people criminally, and will ask for restitution in court, but it’s our preference not to do that,” he said, “through [The Comment], what I’m offering is, anybody who comes forward and claims responsibility…whatever that may be…we’ll charge restitution only…I can’t say that the university itself won’t take some disciplinary action against those involved. But it’s not our goal to charge people criminally for the sake of charging them criminally. This is a real offer. We will not go in that direction unless we need to.”