The Yale retiree accused last month of bringing a rifle to campus pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in New Haven Superior Court Thursday and, according to two employees at the court clerk’s office, will serve six years of probation.
The retiree, John Petrini, 61, originally faced five charges, including two felonies: carrying a dangerous weapon and illegal possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle. But all five of these charges were dropped Thursday and replaced with the two misdemeanors of reckless endangerment and criminal trespass.
The two clerk’s office workers said Petrini was sentenced to one and a half years of prison time for the two misdemeanors. But instead of the prison sentence, Petrini will complete six years of probation, as long as he does not step foot on Yale’s campus and undergoes psychological evaluation, they said, adding that if Petrini violates his probation rules, he will be sent to jail to fulfill the original sentence.
Petrini’s lawyer, Jamie Alosi, did not respond to multiple calls for comment Thursday and Friday, and Petrini declined to comment in court Thursday. Alosi told the News in mid-September that because Petrini had no prior criminal record, he was not considered a threat.
In an Oct. 2 court appearance, Petrini applied for a special program that clears first-time offenders’ criminal records if they do not violate the program’s terms for two years. Offenders found guilty of certain felonies are not eligible for the accelerated rehabilitation, but those with only misdemeanors, like Petrini, can participate.
Yale police arrested Petrini Sept. 10 in the parking lot of 221 Whitney Ave. He had aroused suspicion when he entered the lobby of 155 Whitney Ave. and asked an employee working there to direct him to the University’s Human Resources Department, which had relocated to 221 Whitney Ave. over the summer. Yale police quickly searched Petrini’s vehicle, which was parked in a lot nearby 221 Whitney Ave., and found a rifle and an eight-and-a-half-inch butcher knife.
The year before the arrest, the University Benefits Office denied an appeal that Petrini had filed for retirement benefits. Vice President for Human Resources and Administration Michael Peel told the News in September that Petrini’s appeal was denied because when Petrini left the University, he did not meet the minimum age requirement of 55 to be eligible for the benefits.
After his arrest, Petrini signed an agreement with the University that bars him from ever setting foot on Yale’s campus again.