Six Boston College seniors are accused of trashing an apartment in Brighton and severing a gas line in the basement on the night before Saint Patrick’s Day, endangering a sleeping tenant as the building filled with gas, prosecutors said.
The men all pleaded not guilty at their arraignment Wednesday in Brighton District Court on charges of breaking and entering in the nighttime and willful and malicious destruction of property over $250, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said in a statement.
Conrad J. Bletzer, a lawyer for one of the men, defended his client in a phone interview.
“I think that when all the evidence comes out, it will be shown that he is not guilty of all charges,” said Bletzer, who represents Christian Rockefeller, 22, of Pleasantville, N.Y.
Rockefeller normally “would have been welcome” at the apartment in question, Bletzer added. He would not elaborate.
Rockefeller is a great-grandson of Nelson A. Rockefeller, a former US vice president and New York governor, according to the Associated Press. Rockefeller could not be reached for comment, and a family spokesman had no comment.
Lawyers for the other defendants could not be reached or declined to comment.
According to prosecutors, the men forced their way into a Gerald Road apartment at about 11:30 p.m. on March 16 and “punched holes in the walls, urinated throughout the apartment, and threw eggs, milk, and other food” inside the premises, the statement said.
Tables and speakers were also damaged, prosecutors said.
The men then proceeded to the basement, where they allegedly ripped a gas line from a clothes dryer and fled, “failing to provide any warning to the resident who continued to sleep as the building filled with gas,” Conley’s office said.
Total property damage was estimated at $25,000.
A call to National Grid alerting the utility to the situation was traced to a phone that belongs to one of the defendants, Arthur Pidoriano, 21, of Courtlandt Manor, N.Y., according to the statement. He later admitted to Boston police in the presence of his attorney that he and the other men vandalized the apartment, prosecutors said.
All six defendants were released on personal recognizance and ordered to stay drug- and alcohol-free, among other conditions, the statement said.
Authorities identified the other defendants as Charles Howe, 21, of Pleasantville, N.Y.; Timothy Orr, 21, of Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.; David Rogers, 22, of Providence; and Matthew Tolkowsky, 22, of Morristown, N.J. They are all due back in court on May 16.
Jake Wark, a spokesman for Conley, said that “alcohol may have played a part, but it certainly provides no excuse.”
He said there is no evidence that the men knew the tenant or the owner of the building, a two-family house.
Jack Dunn, a BC spokesman, said in an e-mail that the men “face sanctions within the university” but would not discuss possible penalties.Travis Andersen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.