The charge against one of the five students arrested during the raid on the Morse-Stiles Screw at Elevate nightclub was dismissed on Tuesday. The other four students had their cases postponed for a fourth time.
The case against Alfredo Molinas ’11, who was officially charged with one count of disorderly conduct in the Oct. 2 raid, was dropped in New Haven court, said his lawyer Hugh Keefe.
Keefe will also be defending three other students charged with crimes following the New Haven Police Department entry into Elevate. The students will have another day in court Feb. 4, Keefe said. The fifth student, who is the only one charged with a felony, also had a court appearance Tuesday. Following a request from the prosecution, the judge agreed to continue his case to Feb. 3, his lawyer William F. Dow III said. This is the fourth continuation for the students — the original court date was set for three months ago, on Oct. 18.
“We’re making incremental progress,” Keefe said of his clients’ cases. “Hopefully they’ll all be dismissed in due time.”
Dow said his client, on whom NHPD officers used a Taser gun, received a continuation because the prosecution wanted to take more time on the case. He said that a case receiving multiple continuations is not necessarily unusual.
But before the three previous court dates there was the morning of Oct. 2 when police in SWAT gear entered the Elevate Lounge and reportedly made every student attending the Morse-Stiles Screw sit on the ground and present officers with their identification.
Molinas declined to comment after his court dismissal, and NHPD Spokesman Joseph Avery also declined to comment pending an internal investigation into the incident.
Capt. Denise Blanchard, who is in charge of investigating claims of police brutality for the city’s police force, said earlier this month that she would not describe the investigation as “wrapping up,” but she added that Internal Affairs was no longer waiting on any evidence.
The only public information on the raid released by the NHPD has been the police report for the arrests.
According to the report filed by NHPD officer Matthew Abbate, at least one of the other individuals arrested during the raid was accused of interfering with officers’ ability to perform their duties by having his cellphone out.