A series of incidents on Saturday night at Quinby House's 1980s-themed party left a police officer injured, one student in jail until he could post bail, and another facing a court appearance.
According to Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, the party at Quinby, which began at 9:30 p.m., was going "very well." In an interview with the Orient, Nichols explained that prior to the start of the event, a security officer had completed a pre-party check that involved inspecting and recording keg numbers, ensuring that the event hosts and alcohol host were aware of their responsibilities, and verifying that all regulations were being followed.
"We were monitoring the event here at Security," Nichols said. "We had an officer assigned to that general area and he had checked on the party about three times over the course of the evening."
Nichols explained that although the four-keg Quinby party was a "hopping event" with a "loud crowd and loud music," Security had "received no complaints from" nearby residents regarding noise.
"From our perspective, the party itself was well-run and appeared to be going along just fine," he said. "That is, until a [Brunswick Police Department (BPD)] patrol officer happened to notice four apparent students walking along Maine Street with what appeared to be alcoholic beverages in their possession," Nichols said.
According to Director of Residential Life Kim Pacelli, the BPD "observed some women students...with what the police thought were open containers in the Ashby House parking lot, which is right next to Quinby." The women then "decided to flee," Pacelli said in an interview with the Orient.
"Rather than just remaining there and speaking to the officer and dealing with the situation, the students ran off and the officer pursued the students," Nichols explained.
"The officer, in trying to apprehend them, fell and hurt himself," Pacelli said. According to Nichols and Pacelli, the officer, who sustained a minor injury, then called for backup. Police records viewed by the Orient show that an officer reported "suspicious"—the four women running—near Quinby House at 11:34 p.m. Four more BPD officers, two patrolmen and two lieutenants, arrived within the next three minutes, police records show.
"Extra police did arrive on the scene and we had a couple of security officers on the scene," Nichols confirmed.
BPD officers approached Quinby House to inquire about the four females "who had made the poor decision to flee," Pacelli said. The police, while unable to locate the women, "encountered some other students who were taunting [them]," Pacelli added.
Nichols added that in a meeting with the BPD he learned that "it was also apparent [to the police] that a couple of the students who were interacting with the officers were intoxicated. Now, it's unclear whether the students had consumed at the Quinby event or had consumed earlier," Nichols said.
"At this point, I think the officers were pretty frustrated and felt like they were dealing with a really poorly managed event," Pacelli said. "The decisions and the actions by some students, as I understand it, really had the effect of making it look as though the Quinby party was not being run well when the reports from Security were just the opposite," she said.
"In a nutshell, the event was going well and we think it was well-planned event, however, once the police have a reason to be there and they observe violations taking place then it changes the face of things very quickly and the officers have a lot of discretion as to which way things can go," Nichols said.
"The commanding officer on the scene from the BPD made a decision very early on to shut down the event and they had the authority to do that," he explained.
"Many of the students in Quinby were not even aware of what was going on, but they were advised to clear out the building. One of our officers went in, shut the music down and advised people to leave," Nichols added.
The DJ at the party, Dennis "DJ D-Nice" Burke '09, confirms Nichols's account. "A security guy came in and actually pulled the plug, the plug to the mixer, out. He didn't ask me to turn it off, he just came up and pulled the plug," Burke said.
After the music stopped, a number of students were less than enthused by the idea of departing and some reportedly hassled the police.
"I heard the cops were saying 'leave' so I left," Chantel Crawley '10 said. "Some of my friends though, went up to them and said, 'We're legal, we're legal.'" Some students were under the impression that the BPD could not arrest them while they were on College property.
The police, apparently irritated at this point, then issued an ultimatum according a number of witnesses: leave Quinby or be arrested.
"Yeah, right," a sophomore male responded.
The police promptly made him get on his knees and interlock his fingers behind his head. Although he did not have any alcohol on him, after the police determined he had been drinking, he was cited for "illegal possession of liquor by a minor," according to BPD records.
Nichols, a Maine state trooper for 27 years before he came to Bowdoin, explained that possession by consumption is still possession and can result in the same ticket. The student was given a citation and a court date and was then released.
Although the Orient identified the student, his name is being withheld at his request.
The great majority of party-goers left without incident, but a few who were visibly intoxicated were made to get on their knees. The police determined who was 21 and released those persons of age.
One male sophomore, age 20, was examined by the police and determined to be intoxicated. He was cited for "illegal possession of liquor by a minor" as a result of consumption. The student was released but was "cited a bit later for disorderly conduct for some loud, offensive language that was verbalized" toward the police, Nichols said.
Witnesses report that after receiving his citation the student walked across Maine Street and yelled "something along the lines of 'screw the Brunswick police.'" It is unclear whether the comment was to his friends or aimed at the nearby officers.
The BPD promptly placed him under arrest. After being processed at the Brunswick police station for over an hour and paying $240 bail he was released with three citations: one for the alcohol, one for disorderly conduct and one for "possession of a false I.D. card," according to police records.
As a condition of giving the interview, the Orient agreed to withhold his name.
Despite the problems the police encountered, the College expects to continue having a strong relationship with the local force.
"We've always sought to have a really cooperative relationship with the Brunswick police, and we work really well together," Pacelli said.
"I'm not critical of the police response," Nichols said. "We have a great relationship with the BPD and we want to keep it that way."
Multiple messages left on the voicemail of the BPD's press contact were not immediately returned.
Neither the College administration nor the police nor the Orient was able to conclusively identify the four females who prompted the events at Quinby by fleeing from the police.
"What they ought to do is come forward [since their action] was the instigating event," Nichols said.
"It would be nice if they would turn themselves in," Nichols added. "I would look at that with a great deal of respect, if they were to step forward and be accountable."
" data-cke-real-node-type="1" alt="Anchor" title="Anchor" align="" src="http://bowdoinorient.com/js/ckeditor/plugins/fakeobjects/images/spacer.gif?t=D08E" data-cke-real-element-type="anchor">SIDEBAR: Moments of absurdity, embarrassment follow bust by Brunswick police
Although the evening's events were quite serious for the students who were cited, for the Quinby residents whose party was shut down and for the frustrated police officers, there was a great deal of absurd humor in the minutes that followed the arrival of the BPD.
Costumes were not required for entry to the party but the great majority of students of who attended were garbed in '80s regalia.
Matt Bowers '10 decided to dress up as Joel Goodsen, the character famously portrayed by Tom Cruise in the 1983 film "Risky Business." Matching Cruise's famous costume, Bowers arrived at Quinby in aviator sunglasses, a white button-down shirt, and underwear.
He was in Quinby's basement when he was told that the police had arrived. With three friends, he departed via Quinby's back door.
"When I opened the door, there was a cop car right in front of me with its lights shining right on me," Bowers said. "I was caught with my pants off, literally." According to Bowers, he and his friends "walked straight across the lawn in front of Quinby." For Bowers, wearing only his underwear, it was a surreal moment. "It was one of those things like 'is this really happening?' I'm walking next to a bunch of cops with no pants," he said. Bowers and his friends returned to their dorm, but the absurdity was just beginning for some other students.
Two first-year females on the way back to one of the freshman bricks decided to make a quick exit out of the back of Quinby when the word got to them that the police were on scene. After the door closed and locked behind them, one of the women realized she needed to urinate and decided to use the woods.
Suddenly a bright light was flashed at them and a police officer yelled, "What are you doing?" according to one of the women, who wished to remain anonymous to avoid further embarrassment. "I sprinted into the woods and my friend, after pulling up her pants, followed behind me," she said. "In the process my ID card fell out of my '80s costume and my flip flops came off."
After a few short seconds both of the women fell, having tripped on some underbrush. The woman who had been urinating lost her cell phone and a flip-flop in the fall. The officer approached them and asked what they were doing.
"We were just peeing," one said. Shaking his head, he told them to go home at which point they both walked away, shoeless and short one key and one cell phone. The women later recovered the lost items.
A few minutes later, once all the party guests had departed, talking with the BPD about the party, Quinby House President Lindsey Bruett '09 did her best to come off as presidential while garbed in second-hand clothes two decades out of style.
"Hopefully it was a once-in-a-lifetime [experience] to be standing on Maine Street in '80s clothes bought from the Salvation Army, talking to my favorite Brunswick P.D. officer," Bruett said.