Calm Clam: Aggressive police enforcement keeps lid on student beach bash
By Andrew Brophy
Police on Monday released the breakdown of charges filed during Saturday's Clam Jam, the annual pre-graduation beach party organized by Fairfield University students, with far fewer arrested than in some years past.
The event, because of morning rain and a court injunction restricting the crowd's size and access to the Lantern Point party setting, unfolded with relatively few of the disruptions and arrests that marred some Clam Jams in years past.
Capt. Josh Zabin said two people were issued infractions for creating a public disturbance, five received infractions for having an open container of alcohol, two were cited for possession of alcohol by a minor, three were cited for simple trespass, three were charged with criminal trespass and three were charged with breach of peace.
Four vehicles were towed during the course of the event.
There were only four arrests with people taken into custody during the course of this year's party. In 2010, for instance, there were 26 arrests at the party, and in 2011, 36 people got arrested.
- George Daniolos, 24, of Astoria Lane in Shelton, was charged with breach of peace and interfering with an officer. Daniolos refused to obey an officer's command to leave a large party at Lantern Point, a complex of beach rental houses by the corner of Fairfield Beach and Reef roads, and engaged in "tumultuous behavior," according to the report.
Police said Daniolos was blocking a small "choke point" where other party-goers were trying to leave and that he yelled at officers who told him to move and raised his fist in the air at an officer. He was arrested about 4:22 p.m. Saturday and was released after posting $500 bond. He was scheduled to appear May 7 in Bridgeport Superior Court.
- Edward Nilan, 20, of Chatham Avenue in Milford, was charged with interfering with an officer and breach of peace after he allegedly punched a horse used by a mounted patrol unit of the Bridgeport police. According to the report, Nilan contended that he was petting the horse, though Bridgeport officers said they saw him hit the horse with a closed fist. Nilan said he intervened when officers were trying to clear a large party at Lund Court because a horse had stepped on a woman's foot and he didn't think anyone was assisting her, according to the report. The horse that Nilan punched was not the horse that stepped on the girl's foot when she refused to move, police said, adding that Nilan hit the horse several minutes after her foot was stepped on. The horse wasn't injured, police said. Nilan, arrested about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, was released on a promise to appear May 14 in Bridgeport Superior Court.
- Robert J. Orlando, 21, of Milton, Mass., was charged with second-degree breach of peace, first-degree criminal trespass and interfering with police after he refused to leave a large party at Lantern Point on Saturday afternoon. Police said private security at Lantern Point asked Orlando to leave because he was trespassing and that Orlando shouted profanities. Police then took hold of Orlando to remove him for trespassing and he "loudly protested" his arrest and continued to yell profanities on the way to the police department. Orlando was released on a promise to appear May 8 at Bridgeport Superior Court and was then taken to the Emergency Department at Bridgeport Hospital due to "extreme intoxication," according to police.
- Shane Sullivan, 19, of Chelmsford, Mass., was charged with second-degree criminal trespass, interfering with an officer and possession of a counterfeit ID after he entered private property at Lantern Point and walked away from an officer who asked him to leave. Police said he had a fake Rhode Island driver's license on him. He was arrested about 11:32 a.m. Saturday and was released after posting $250 bond, police said. He was scheduled to appear May 7 in Bridgeport Superior Court, police said.
"We had a very strong police presence early on," Zabin said. He said 13 officers from neighboring agencies assisted Fairfield police under a mutual-aid agreement and that the police presence "sent a strong message as of 8 a.m. that Lantern Point was limited to guests and residents only, resulting in many individuals being turned away."
"The rain hampered some of the crowds, but definitely not all of them, and as the sun began to come out, neighboring residences began to host parties of their own, which we addressed by having a strong police presence and dispersing crowds at owners' request," Zabin said.
Zabin said the mutual aid and two DWI checkpoints were not funded by local taxpayers. He said the checkpoints were paid for by a federal grant.
"I'd like to thank the men and women of the Fairfield Police Department along with our neighboring agencies for their firm stand in addressing disorderly behavior in the Fairfield Beach Road neighborhood, and I'd also like to applaud them for their professionalism throughout the day, especially at times when there were some tense and uncertain situations they had to handle," Zabin added.