BEVERLY, Mass. A Massachusetts college student was in custody Wednesday in connection with three apparently random assaults that happened over the course of a single hour on campus last weekend.
Two of the victims of early morning attacks at Endicott College were hospitalized with broken facial bones from the alleged attacks by Dillon Destefano, 19, of Riverdale, N.J.
Destefano was arrested Tuesday night and charged with aggravated assault and battery. He was held on $20,000 pending arraignment expected Thursday. It was unclear if he had hired a lawyer.
Endicott College President Richard Wylie said in an email to students that the unprovoked attacks Sunday morning may have been an example of a growing national problem known as “the knockout game.”
“The object of this troubling `game’ is to knock an unsuspecting victim to the ground with a single punch,” Wylie wrote.
Destefano punched three fellow students on the Beverly campus between 1:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m. Sunday, police said.
One student was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken jaw. A second suffered a broken eye socket. A third had minor injuries.
Wylie credited the campus community with coming together to identify a suspect.
Destefano was accompanied by two other students at the time of two of the alleged assaults, but they have not been charged, police said. All three, however, have been suspended from the school, Wylie said.
Destefano had minor violations on his record at the school but had never displayed violent behavior, Wylie said.
Endicott, a private school about 25 miles northeast of Boston, has about 2,600 undergraduate students on its Beverly campus.