FSU students, Framingham police injured in head-on collision

A vehicle carrying three FSU students collided with the truck of a Framingham police officer on Brook Street on Feb. 8.

The off-duty officer was en route to break up a house party, which was attended by approximately 200 adults, including FSU students.

According to The MetroWest Daily News, the officer, whose identity has not been released, and the driver of the other car were airlifted to UMass Medical Center in Worcester. The other two students involved in the collision were taken to local hospitals with less serious injuries. The identities of all three students have also not been released.

The officer reportedly suffered severe injuries, but no specific injuries have been confirmed.

Former FSU student Keith Worthy rented the Brook Street property on Airbnb for the evening to host his 21st birthday party.

“Things got a little out of hand. More people showed up than I expected,” Worthy told Christina Hager, a reporter for CBS Boston, following his arraignment on Friday, Feb. 9.

Worthy was arrested on charges of assault and battery of a police officer, being the keeper of an unruly house and resisting arrest.

Devante Santiago, 23, of Hyde Park, Massachusetts, was arrested for disorderly conduct. Santiago is not currently, nor has ever been, enrolled at FSU.

Santiago was arrested after attempting to incite the crowd against the officers who were trying to break up the party. Multiple fights broke out among party-goers. One person who was trying to help officers break up the crowd had a bottle broken over their head and had to be protected from other guests by police, reported The MetroWest Daily News.

Thirty officers from Framingham, FSUPD, Natick, Ashland, Southborough, Sudbury, Sherborn, Wayland and the Massachusetts State Police were called to break up the party.

FSUPD Sgt. Martin Laughlin said his department was contacted at around 11:40 p.m. on Feb. 8 to send officers for aid.

In a statement to the media, President F. Javier Cevallos said, “No neighborhood should have to deal with that level of disruption. Framingham State is fortunate to be located in a wonderful community and we strive to be good neighbors. We handle instances very seriously where we come up short of achieving this goal.”

He added the University will determine if and what student conduct actions should be taken after the Framingham Police Department concludes its investigation.

Although the party was hosted off campus, students who attended are still punishable under the student code of conduct, which states, “Failure to exercise reasonable care for property. This includes, but is not limited to, damage or attempted damage, destruction, and/or defacement of University property, or the property of any person.”

The handbook states students who are in violation of any student conduct codes are punishable by “maximum sanction of Expulsion or any lesser sanction authorized by this Code.”

Additionally, the dean of students may determine if the code of conduct should be extended to off-campus events based on if a situation “significantly breaches the peace and/or causes social disorder” or is “detrimental to the educational mission and/or interests of the University.”

Pam Richardson, a city councilor who represents district 2, sent a “Letter to the Editor” to the Framingham Source on Saturday, Feb. 10. The letter, “Party on Brook Street should never happen in our community,” suggested Airbnb regulations should be put in place by the city to prevent incidents like these from occurring. Richardson said she has reached out to Dennis Giombetti, city council president, to see what can be done to change short-term rental laws in Framingham.

On Feb. 14, The MetroWest Daily News reported Richardson has started an ad hoc committee to work on these changes.

Boston city councilors are also currently discussing stricter regulations for short-term rental programs such as Airbnb. Other cities, including Worcester, already have regulations in place requiring property owners to have a business license to list their property on a site like Airbnb and limit Airbnb properties to commercially zoned areas.

Cevallos said, “I applaud [the city council] for taking a proactive approach in response to a growing trend of homes being rented simply to host parties. The University will offer its support to any recommended measures put in place to address these concerns.”

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