St. Patrick’s Day parade partiers return to Southie today — to face their day in court
When South Boston Municipal Court Judge Michael Bolden asked two men from Hingham arrested during Sunday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade if they had any reason to be in Southie in the near future, both quickly indicated they were willing to stay away.
Bolden then ordered the release of John M. Thomas and Shawn M. Corcoran, who were arrested around 5 p.m. on East Broadway. According to the police report filed in court, Thomas, 19, and Corcoran, 18, were being detained by witnesses when police arrived on scene.
“The witnesses stated the victim was walking along East Broadway yelling out ‘Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!’ when the suspects punched him repeatedly in the face without provocation,’’ police wrote in the report.
Thomas and Corcoran both pleaded not guilty to a charge of affray and were released by Bolden on the grounds they show up in court for the next date, and stay out of Southie until then.
The Hingham men were among a dozen or so people arrested during the famous parade who were arraigned today, a group that included a man who punched the rearview mirror of an MBTA vehicle, more than a few people who chose to be churlish to police, and six people arrested when police broke up what they called a large party serving beer to underage drinkers.
In a report filed in court, police said they observed more than 25 people drinking from a keg standing in the middle of the kitchen floor of Christopher Castagna’s apartment. Police said they were in uniform and identified themselves as officers, and had to push their way through the crowd to a bedroom where they found Christopher Castagana.
According to police, Castagna was obviously drunk, shouted at police that they had no right to enter his home without a warrant, and twice pushed an officer. Other officers wrestled him to the ground as he allegedly “began to incite the other individuals in his apartment.’’
Castagna was arrested on charges of assault and battery on a police officer and for keeping a noisy and disorderly house. He pleaded not guilty to all charges, and was released on low bail.
Christopher Castagna declined comment, but his brother, Gavin Castagna, said police overreacted, forced their way into the apartment without knocking, and ignored an effort by his brother to peacefully end both the party and the police intervention.
Gavin Castagna said that those who were arrested later discovered their cellphones in the trash — and the videos they had taken of the incident had been deleted from them. Christopher Castagna, who also taped the incident with his cellphone, said his phone was missing.
Gavin Castagna was himself arrested for resisting arrest and pleaded not guilty.
Overall, Boston police said they had arrested at least 26 people, most for disorderly conduct, during the parade. Police also cited 336 people for drinking in public. Some of those arrested are to appear in court today; others may face court at a later date.
During last year’s parade, police issued 244 citations for public drinking and arrested just eight people.John R. Ellement can be reached at email@example.com.
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