By Emma Buchman
At an April 2 pretrial hearing in the Kent County Courthouse, Washington College student Matthew McDermaid pled guilty to possessing false identification and resisting arrest. The five other charges brought against him were dropped. McDermaid was sentenced to one year’s supervised probation with the right to leave the state to go home to California, $97.50 in court fees, a 12 week counseling program, and 40 hours of community service to be completed by May 15.
Charges stemmed from a Jan. 23 incident at O’Connor’s Pub. According to the police report read at the hearing, McDermaid and fellow student Thomaso Koven were apprehended using false identification to gain access to O’Connor’s Pub underage. They were intercepted at the door by Patrolman First Class Jay Walker. Walker was undercover at the time and quickly realized that the Illinois licenses presented to him were falsified. Walker confiscated Koven’s ID first and tried to process it. According to the police report, Koven attempted to slap the ID out of his hand and then ran away from the scene. Walker gave chase, but was unable to reach him. Koven was later picked up by Public Safety.
The report continued that McDermaid remained behind. When Walker took his license to be processed, McDermaid asked if he was being detained and Walker told him repeatedly to quiet down. When Walker tried to handcuff McDermaid, McDermaid resisted and brought the officer to the ground. As a result of the altercation Walker fractured his tibia. Patrolman First Class Martin Heinefield took McDermaid into custody. During the trial, it was stated that McDermaid was released on a $75,000 bond.
Attorney G. Mitchell Mowell, who represented McDermaid, said that the incident was caused by McDermaid’s youth and intoxication. Mowell said his client has learned from his mistake, is pursing counseling through the College, and is extremely remorseful. Mowell said that McDermaid had sent Walker a letter of apology, which the officer “graciously” accepted.
Judge Floyd Parks oversaw the trial, and explained to McDermaid that by pleading guilty to these counts that he was waiving his right to a jury trial.