Former NFL player turns to social media to track down partying teens who trashed his house
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.
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This NFL player is pretty awesome in my opinion.
He’s got the recourse for legal action, they know it, but he’s still giving them a chance to redeem themselves. Impressive!
The kids who DID NOT SHOW UP, however, are another matter entirely. Throw the book at ’em, and see how they like making license plates for a living.
Saw a followup on the news that some parents of kids outed have threatened to possibly sue.
Good parents! sar
Really? For Embarassment?
All Holloway did was re-tweet (or post original tweets) of the kids themselves. I don’t think the parents will have much grounds for an effective case.
“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.”
One of the problems I have with this story is that out of 200 to 400 teens the police weren’t able to arrest one person. How inept is that? Or is it a case that the kids were known to the police and they knew there would be trouble with the parents if they did their duty. Small towns are sometimes like that. It seems some of those parents instead of denouncing the trespass and destruction of Holloway’s property some of them have threatened to sue. As for him trying to find them it seems he did a better job than the police.
Barbara, you misunderstand. They have the legal case, but Holloway is the one who has delayed pressing charges contingent upon his offer of leniency. I think you’ll find more of the story is coming down the pike in the next few days.
The problem for local authorities will be assessing and assigning blame.
Criminal Trespass, Destruction of Property, etc. With denials and finger pointing to follow.
All minor charges (or charges that will be plead down to minor) and 200+ juvenile miscreants learn that a slap on the wrist doesn’t hurt much, if at all.
The website should live for eternity, and should also post any communications from parents or guardians, especially any demands or legal threats.
This horde did not spring up out of the ground.
Okay. so “some” of the parents to outed students are threatening to sue.
Hello, the Streisand Effect!
Story’s gone viral, now.
And, the police, who arrived at the house while the party was on-going “didn’t arrest anybody.” How come?
Breaking and entering involves felonies.
How did stolen items get out of the house? Did they have legs? And, just walked away?
Lawsuits are two-way streets! If the parents “sue” … think of the DISCOVERY PROCESS. They didn’t raise angels.
And, the story, now viral, can’t be sat on by a judge.
How did the drugs “walk into the house?”
As to pissing on carpets, reminds me that some of these kids imbedded their DNA.
Holloway isn’t playing a game of “chicken.”
Well, I am not of a forgiving nature. And $20,000 is $20,000. Not to speak of the stolen furnishings. Holloway’s idea of rehabiliting these brats is totally ridiculous. They are too far gone for that. No respect for anyone or their property. They went onto a property 200 acres large, stole the furnishings and trashed the house. And BTW where did they take all these furnishings? Home? What it amounts to is he is willing to allow them to weasel out of their crimes in the name of saving them. He is just another liberal enabler. He is doing these kids no favor by not reining them in now before they go on to more egregious crimes. I realize some kids are thoughtless and arrogant but this is beyond the pale. I doubt they could have held a party like this in one of their parents’ homes. If they had we would be hearing shrieking all the way from NY. They are getting away with this one. Where will their next party be?
Barbara, First and foremost, if you believe in property rights, then it is HIS property to do with as he pleases. If he wants to give the kids a chance to come forward and repent of their crimes, then that is HIS RIGHT.
Secondly, THEY ARE NOT GETTING AWAY WITH IT. The whole point of the story is that the Sheriff has the information, but that Holloway is offering them a chance to repent, and some HAVE taken his offer, and some have not.
If you are so into punishing adolescents, perhaps you should visit a juvenile hall facility? He is not enabling the behavior, he is giving them an opportunity to own up to their behavior and to learn some responsibility. There is a difference, but you seem to think that the story has ended, when it is just beginning.
I realize this is his property and he can do as he pleases with this incident. However, my question is if he doesn’t file charges against all of them how can he file charges against just some of them. He is not judge, jury and executioner. If they repent well and good but they still committed a crime. What’s he going to do? Take their names off the list of those arrested? Why should they not be punished because they came forward and others punished because they didn’t? They were all in it together and all should pay the same penalty. This rehabilitation idea will not work. If some of them are let off the parents of the ones punished will scream to high heaven demanding that their kids be let off too. Some judge will decide that since some were let off all must be let off. And I am not all for punishing teens. I am for punishing anybody who commits a crime. You commit the crime, you do the time. This is the way life has been until the libs took over and sought to save criminals from themselves. This is why this country is in such a mess. It is no longer a case of everybody is equal under the law. Some are more equal than others. Then again some people feel they have the right to decide who is innocent and guilty according to social justice.
It’s called plea bargaining. 🙂
You see, all will be charged, but some will get consideration for leniency by the court or the prosecutors based on Mr. Halloway’s offer-in-kind. Some will get “immunity from prosecution” in exchange for information leading to the ring leaders. Some will be charged with merely trespassing and given probation, others will be charged with vandalism. There is no “One size fits all” in this case.
my question is if he doesn’t file charges against all of them how can he file charges against just some of them.
Is that a rhetorical question? The answer is right there in front of you.
Because he can.
The deviant little sociopaths opened the door for his prerogative when they did what they did.
Put more succinctly, they don’t get to make the rules.
Don’t forget to factor in the townie-outsider relationship. The in-laws live not too far from there and the area is either rather hardscrabble or filled with weekending New Yorkers. There’s probably a quite a lot of resentment…that might cause the police to shoo the kids away rather than detain/arrest them.
That some parents are threatening to sue him, rather than marching their kids down to the police station to give themselves up, says something about why these kids think they can get away with such stuff.
His desire to help the kids turn their lives around is commendable. One way he can further that is to help see that they learn the consequences of illegal actions.
Because it is his property, he can plead leniency or even that restitution was made by those who showed up to help. I give this guy kudos for trying.
The idea of teaching responsibility is becoming outdated. Now we only wish to punish, and punish harshly, those who are often just good kids doing stupid things.
Good kids do stupid things that hurt themselves.
Bad kids do stupid things that hurt others and destroy property.
Back in the bad old days of corporal punishment, they might have been deterred or, if not, given reason not to repeat the behavior. Our “enlightened” society will fret about their economic status, social pressures, and other nonsense, and give them a pass for more criminal behavior.
You do realize that by saying that someone who breaks into and trashes someone else’s home could still qualify as a “good kid,” you’re pretty much telling all the other kids who don’t break into and trash other people’s homes that there really is no difference between the two.
Am I the only one who is surprised that the damages are only $20,000? That seems rather low to me.
That was the CBO number. The actual number was $4.2 million.
Ding! We have a winner!