2 former Bates College students connected to melee report completing community service

By Chris Williams, Sun Journal
Posted Nov. 02, 2012, at 7 a.m.

AUBURN, Maine — Two former Bates College students appeared in court Thursday as a requirement to satisfy their sentences stemming from an on-campus melee two years ago.

Through their respective attorneys, the two reported in Androscoggin County Superior Court that they each had completed their terms of 200 hours of community service, as ordered by a judge a year ago.

Francis Suozzo, 24, of Golden Bridge, N.Y., and Samuel Guilford, 25, of Surry stood briefly before Justice Robert Clifford with their attorneys to “check in.”

They wore blue blazers.

The lawyers told Clifford that they had provided proof to the district attorney’s office that their clients had completed their community service.

A different judge, who had presided over the former students’ sentencing hearings a year ago, had ordered them to come back to court every six months for two years to report that they were complying with the terms of their sentences.

Guilford had performed 106 of the 200 hours as of May, the last time he appeared in court. He was working as a volunteer at Camp Glen Brook in Marlborough, N.H.

He had pleaded guilty a year ago to assault on an officer, a felony. A Lewiston police officer suffered a broken leg during the incident while detaining Guilford. His and the prosecutor’s accounts of the incident differed.

If Guilford doesn’t run afoul of the law and completes his community service, the court is expected to let him withdraw his plea and plead no contest to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

Guilford pleaded guilty in November 2011 to charges of refusing to submit to arrest and failure to disperse, both misdemeanors. He agreed to spend 14 days in jail on each charge, to be served at the same time.

As of May, Suozzo had completed only 20 hours of community service. Suozzo was teaching English as a second language in Westchester County in New York.

He had pleaded guilty to a charge of failure to disperse, which is expected to be dismissed after two years once he has complied with the terms of his plea agreement.

The appearance of a third former Bates student who had been scheduled to come to court Thursday was continued, a court clerk said.

Eleven Bates students were charged in May 2010 in the melee that involved hundreds of students. The late-night gathering at the college blocked the pathway of an ambulance responding to a call to treat a student with alcohol poisoning. Lewiston police were called to assist campus security. Officers tried to disperse the crowd over speakers on their cruisers. They then entered the crowd to disperse the students that way.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/11/02/news/lewiston-auburn/2-former-bates-college-students-connected-to-melee-report-completing-community-service/ printed on August 22, 2014