Three more charged in retail thefts
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Writer | September 26,2013
CASTLETON — A fourth football player and two soccer players have been charged in the ring of Castleton State College athletes who were stealing from Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Vermont State Police announced that they had cited Eric N. Cross, 19; Dominic S. Heller, 21; and Zachary J. Howe, 28, for retail theft. Cross and Heller are members of the soccer team and Howe is a football player.
The first two players, Brandon Boyle and George Busharis, were cited Sept. 10. Police said Boyle worked at the store and helped Busharis and other teammates steal merchandise.
They were followed into court late last week by football player Mark Comstock, who was also cited for retail theft.
After the first two arrests, the college announced that they had suspended six football players for involvement in the thefts, but said confidentiality rules prevented the school from naming them to the police.
CSC spokesman Jeff Weld confirmed Wednesday that Howe was one of the original suspended football players and said Cross and Heller had just now been suspended from the soccer team.
That apparently leaves two football players unidentified and uncharged, but a call to the investigating officer to clarify that point was not immediately returned Wednesday.
The incident also appears to have created tension on campus over the publicity surrounding the charges. The editor of the school paper, The Spartan, reported that the first issue of the semester contained a front-page story on the incident and many copies were removed from several locations around campus after it was published last week.
Molly DeMellier said she and co-editor Martina Marchese co-authored the story.
“It’s definitely a big story that the campus is talking about,” she said. “There’s a lot of shock. They’re well-known kids.”
DeMellier said the college prints 1,200 copies of each edition and distributes them around campus. When the first edition came out Sept. 18, she said, they disappeared from numerous locations.
“Mostly the Campus Center, Leavenworth Hall, Woodruff Hall and, I believe, Jeffords Hall,” she said. “Those are just the places we know they were completely gone from.”
DeMellier said some of them were later found in the trash. She said she reported the thefts to the school’s public safety department, which was investigating. The next issue comes out Oct. 2.
“We’re going to have something,” she said. “I wrote an editorial that covers it and we’re still figuring out how we want to cover it with more information coming out since last week.”
DeMellier added, “I’m trying to stay as middle-ground as I can. I try not to waver too much. I have a lot of friends on both sides, so it puts me in a difficult position.”