Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Rhode Island Case: Students confront police during arrest at RWU dorm

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VIA East Bay RI.com

By Bruce Burdett

PORTSMOUTH — They went to the Roger Williams dorms Friday night for a marijuana complaint but police officers soon found themselves facing a taunting crowd of students.

By the time the incident had ended, two students were under arrest and a police officer was being treated at Newport Hospital for a dislocated shoulder.

The first officer responded to a 10:21 p.m. report from a resident assistant at the Baypoint facility on Anthony Road that there was a strong odor of marijuana coming from a room.

While the officer was arresting Ian W. Walsh, 20, of Wolcott, Conn., on a marijuana possession charge, he said another student approached him outside and demanded to know why someone was being arrested.

That student, later identified as John D. Delucia, 19, of Waterbury, Conn., was asked to leave and was also asked to pull up his pants which the officer said were hanging low, leaving his underwear exposed with a woman present.

The officer said the student replied, “I can wear my ----ing pants however I want,” and let his pants fall to his knees.

The officer said that Mr. Delucia and other students who had gathered began yelling “----ing pigs ... We let you go to school for free.”

Police said several students attempted to get some of the others to back off but that Mr. Delucia then mooned and swore at the first officer and officer Scott Sullivan who had recently arrived.

Officer Sullivan went after Mr. Delucia who tried to run into the dorm but found the door locked. They collided, officer Sullivan said, and they both went down. The officer said he heard his shoulder pop and could not move his arm, leaving him unable to handcuff Mr. Delucia (another officer had to help).

Mr. Delucia was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and obstructing a police officer.

On Monday, Deputy Chief Jeffrey Furtado said this is the first time in his memory that an episode involving college students has escalated in such a way here, adding that it is “scary” for a lone officer to be confronted by a threatening group.

Officer Sullivan remains off duty for treatment of his injury.

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