This morning, as I entered Brighton District Court, I noticed the familiar sight of a roomful of reporters and cameras waiting around for a chance of catching a piece of what would pass for action in the case of Andrea Massa.
Mr. Massa is the Marshfield gentleman who was arrested yesterday at the Boston University graduation. He stands accused of having tried to carry two handguns into the ceremony. Today, at his arraignment, 28-year-old Mr. Massa was ordered held on $100.000 bail according to officials.
Today was his arraignment and Massachusetts bail hearing.
Apparently, Massa is accused of causing a disturbance before a security checkpoint on the way into the festivities according to B.U. Spokesman Colin Riley. Riley also indicated that no one was in any danger.
Massa’s wife told reporters that her husband was actually trying to leave when he was arrested and that it was all a misunderstanding. The Massas had been there to attend her sister’s graduation. I. Fact, Massa is licensed to carry, his wife said. But a Suffolk County District Attorney spokesman said Massa is only licensed to carry firearms for hunting and target practice, and “faces a civil penalty for violating the terms of that license.”
In court today, Massa was charged with carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds, disturbing a school assembly, disturbing a public assembly and violation of firearms license restriction.
Of course this must have been a bit embarrassing, given that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Bill Cosby were also at the graduation.
Maybe that explains the high bail on what may amount to a civil infraction or criminal misdemeanor in an event in which the school’s spokesman claims there was no danger.
Of course, Mr. Massa did not provid the only “disturbance” of graduations on Sunday.
Not too far from the Commonwealth, in Hamden, Conn., Quincy’s Danielle Shea was dealing with a little commencement action of her own.
According to authorities, 22-year-old Ms. Shea had a problem. Her mom had paid thousands of dollars in the belief that her daughter was attending Quinnipiac University.
Sunday was graduation day and, of course, Ms. Shea’s mom expected her daughter would be graduating.
So, as her deception and graduation were about to collide, Ms. Shea allegedly decided to try to get rid of the graduation.
According to statements police say she gave to them, Ms. Shea detailed how she went about phoning in bomb threats to the school, hoping they would cancel graduation.
Instead, they moved the location of the graduation and Ms. Shea was arrested where the graduation ended up taking place.
According to police, Shea made two calls to the university’s public safety department. In the first, about 20 minutes before the start of the 6 p.m. graduation ceremony, she stated there was a “bomb in the library,” said police. In the second call, about 20 minutes later, police said Shea warned “Several bombs are on campus” and noted “You haven’t cleared out graduation. That’s not a good idea.”
Hamden and university police identified Shea using the telephone number she’d called from and then found her at the arena, the new location for her alleged graduation, which she had successfully delayed for 90 minutes.
She has been charged with first degree threatening and falsely reporting an incident. She is being held on $20,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on May 30.
Two earlier ceremonies were held at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Attorney Sam’s Take On Terrorist-Type Threats
This is the day of the terrorist threat, folks.
Universities and everybody else take these things very seriously.
You may be wondering why someone calling in bomb threats had bail set at $20,000 and someone who was not necessarily knowingly breaking any criminal laws was held at $100,000. That’s easy…different courts, judges, jurisdictions, etc. We have often times discussed that there is very little in the way of consistency in these things. All anybody knows is that, although it would appear nobody was actually in danger in either of these situations, the need was there to give harsh “no nonsense” treatment
That usually amounts to incarceration. Regardless of how the matters may resolve themselves in the end.
I don’t know what these two defendants are doing for counsel. I would, as usual, suggest that experienced defense counsel be used. It seems from this standpoint that these are going to be sensitive cases in which nuances will be very important.
The overall message to you?
To engage in anything that can be considered a threat in any way is likely going to land you in custody. There is no sense of humor here. As sympathetic of your plight with your family may be to some people, it is not going to soften the hearts of law enforcement when it comes to charging you.
And if you, or a loved one, have engaged in one such debacle…expect serious repercussions. It is not a “little thing”.
Lawyer up! Sooner rather than later!
For the original stories upon which this blog is based, please go to http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2014/05/police_arrest_woman_in_quinnipiac_bomb_threats and http://m.wcvb.com/news/boston-university-man-with-guns-arrested-at-commencement/26044646