EAST BRIDGEWATER -- A mother’s dream vacation in Paris turned into a nightmare last month when she returned to find her son’s classmates had crashed a party at her home and run amok, causing damage estimated by police at more than $45,000.
Walls and ceilings were punched through, computers were stolen, and blood and urine soiled the floor and closets.
“They destroyed everything, basically destroyed our lives,” Jill Steidle said today.
Police earlier this week charged four teenagers in the vandalism, and said more people could be arrested.
Steidle is calling on school officials and the community to do more to punish four students who, she says, have continued to harass her family, calling her son a snitch, setting up Facebook pages mocking the destruction, and refusing to acknowledge any role in the incident. One Facebook page, according to court records, was called the “Homewrecker Crew.”
“It’s all a joke to these kids,” Steidle said. “There are no consequences, and that’s why they keep doing what they’re doing.”
One of the teenagers was described by police in court records as a constant nuisance in town, who “has not been able to stay out of trouble and in fact he continues to be involved in increasingly more destructive behavior.”
The teenager, 18-year-old Gersham E. Grossman, does not have a criminal record but has been involved in a number of incidents, including larcenies, shoplifting, and malicious destruction of property. complaints that have been resolved by police and his parents, according to court records.
Grossman was charged with malicious damage to a motor vehicle, the Steidle family truck, and using a motor vehicle without authority. He pleaded not guilty in Brockton District Court, and a pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for May 7.
Michael Edwards, 17, and Daniel Peterson, 18, were also charged with malicious destruction of property. They pleaded not guilty at their arraignments in District Court and pretrial hearings were scheduled for May.
A 16-year-old was also charged with larceny and brought before Juvenile Court.
Steidle said she was shocked to hear that even after the students were arrested they were allowed to attend East Bridgewater High School with her son. She has called for them to be suspended, and said they should not be able to attend the school graduation.
"They don’t deserve it,” she said.
Her son, fearing for his safety, has not gone to school since the four were arraigned earlier this week. He is not going to his prom, she said.
Steidle, who said she was told that the students may go before a disciplinary hearing on Monday, met with the school principal, Paul D. Vieira, today to express her outrage.
Vieira would not comment on the incident or the students today, only confirming he met with the mother.
According to court records, Steidle's son was staying with friends and relatives and went home to take out the cat when revelers started showing up. He asked them to leave, but they would not listen. He did not call police because he feared he would get beat up. And from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., more people started showing up.
For several hours that night, they partied. Some urinated on beds and in bureaus. Fights broke out and blood spilled on the floor. Someone stole DVDs, jewelry, a Sony PlayStation 3, video games, and a laptop, among other items. Several of the revelers broke through walls with baseball bats, according to court records.
But at least one of the partygoers, the 16-year-old, told the Globe today that only a select few “with reputations” have been targeted in a party that was crashed by dozens of people.
“There are a lot of false accusations towards me and a few people,” he said. “It’s being blamed on four kids and there were at least 100 people there.”
The teenager acknowledged that the party careened out of control. He said he felt bad for the mother and the family, but said he had always been friendly with the son and that the party had been planned. He said two other parties were held there that week.
“Pretty much everyone in the house was intoxicated, and when you have that many people in one place not much good can happen from that,” he said. “It was a house party that went wrong. Everyone was wreaking havoc.”
Police Detective Michael E. Jenkins said today that the investigation remains ongoing, and if enough evidence is found against anyone else, they could be charged, too.
He also said the circumstances of the party remain under investigation.
But, “It didn’t give them the right to ruin the house,” he said. “This just got out of control.”
He said the family had to bring in specialty cleaners. Wooden floors were damaged, and flour was poured down toilets.
“It was just disgusting," he said.
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