How would you like to find out on Twitter that your house was in the process of being trashed by hundreds of partying teens?
That’s apparently what happened to former NFL player Brian Holloway. And now he’s trying to teach those kids a lesson, but not in the way that you might think.
Over Labor Day weekend, between 200 and 400 teens descended upon Holloway’s vacant vacation home in upstate NY uninvited, and proceeded to party it up. Some chose to urinate on the carpets, break windows and doors, punch dozens of holes in the walls, and spray an “enormous amount” of graffiti on the property while partying. Drug paraphernalia was also reportedly scattered around the property.
Holloway, who resides in Florida, said he initially thought it was a hoax when the tweets and photos were first brought to his attention by his 19-year-old son. But then he watched the entire incident unfold live on Twitter, and realized this was for real.
Holloway was at his home in Lutz, Fla., at the time and watched as more tweets about the party were posted, many of them accompanied by photos of young people drinking throughout his home in Stephentown, on the Massachusetts border 25 miles southeast of Albany.
“We were getting eyewitness reports of what was happening while it was happening. We couldn’t believe what was going down,” Holloway told The Associated Press.
Before he could call police, more tweets reported that officers had arrived, Holloway said. The partygoers scattered across his 200-acre property, which includes the main house and a guest house set amid rolling countryside in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains.
Holloway said the damage was estimated at $20,000, not including items that were stolen. Police are investigating but no arrests had been reported to date.
The former NFL lineman turned to social media to track down as much as he could about the incident and those who attended the party. He’s created a website called HelpMeSave300 and a companion Facebook page to post the teenagers’ own evidence and a call to help track them down. But he says he’s more interested in helping them to redeem themselves and put their lives on the right path. From SFGate.com:
Holloway, a father of eight, said he used Twitter postings to compile 200 names of teens he said were at the party. He has been posting them on a website — helpmesave300 — in an effort to get them to come forward, take responsibility for their actions and change their behavior.
“It’s not hard to identify who they were. We’ve got 170 tweets. We have 200 to 220 names already confirmed today. I’m going to go online right now — I guarantee I’ll have 10 more names of people who are sharing who was there, what they did. And that data is all going to the sheriffs,” Holloway said.
He said he is inviting “the 300” to show up and help clean the place up for a celebration picnic he is hosting this weekend for military personnel.
“We need to get these young kids turned around,” he said “We need to get them on the right track.”
Among the stolen items was something of great importance to Holloway. “One of the stolen items was a granite eagle, of great value to our family; it’s the headstone for my grandson, Dyanni who died at child birth. So I would really appreciate this student who has Dyanni’s Eagle would return it,” he wrote at the website. (Update: the photo indicates the item has since been returned).
Some have criticized the former NFL player for outing the teens on his website. But he pointed out that all he’s done is post the very tweets and photos these teens posted themselves.
Holloway said he sometimes uses the home to host various outreach events, and flew into NY on Tuesday to fix up the house before a weekend picnic he has planned for military personnel. He invited those who attended the party to show up and help him, and to use the whole thing as a learning experience. He writes about discipline in his own upbringing – in the era of wooden spoons and belts – on the ‘Help Me Save 300’ site, and emphasizes that he “learned to take responsibility for my actions.”
But as of this writing, I saw that Holloway made an appearance on CNN during the 2pm EST hour on Thursday and mentioned that very few showed up to help clean up on Tuesday. He was clearly disappointed.
I get the sense this won’t be the end of this story.DONATE
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