Estimated 300 teens allegedly trash house of former NFL offensive lineman
STEPHENTOWN, N.Y. -- A handful of teenagers helped former NFL All-Pro offensive tackle Brian Holloway clean up the mess at his second home in town Tuesday after hundreds of their peers allegedly trashed the place during a break-in and subsequent party over Labor Day weekend.
A cleanup crew composed of Holloway, six Cohoes High School students and some parents disposed of 10 55-gallon bags worth of empty alcohol bottles and carpets soaked in urine and began repairs on broken windows and door frames during the afternoon.
The mess was the handiwork of an estimated 300 high school students who took part in a "flash party" at the home -- located along Route 43 -- on Aug. 31, when the home was vacant. The party drew students from Albany, N.Y., to Pittsfield after word of it spread via Twitter, according to Holloway.
Tuesday marked Holloway's first visit to the home since the party. The former left tackle lives in Florida.
A Twitter investigation Holloway undertook has unearthed the names of more than 100 partygoers who posted on the site about the party. Holloway has published the names to a website he launched called helpmesave300.com. His aggressive actions in the wake of the party have angered some parents of the alleged partygoers.
Also a motivational speaker, Holloway believes the site can teach the kids a lesson.
"The technology they used to get the word out [about the party] is the exact same technology I'm using to put the brakes on things like this happening again," Holloway said in an interview at the house.
More than 10,000 are following the site, said Holloway, who played for the New England Patriots (1981-86) and Los Angeles Raiders (1987-88) during his NFL career.
The Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office confirmed an investigation into the party is ongoing but declined further comment Tuesday. Holloway said his work on Twitter has given police a healthy start.
"When I showed them how to track the evidence, they were like 'Wow, it's all there,' " Holloway said.
According to Holloway, the office is compiling a "huge spreadsheet" containing all the information culled from Twitter.
The Cohoes students participating in Tuesday's cleanup included Danielle Dumas, 16, Madden Umholtz, 15, Emily Taylor, 16, Maddy Turcotte, 16, and Gina Martini, 16. They said they were alienated by peers who went to the party but didn't regret their decision to help out.
"We're happy to be part of the solution, not the problem," Taylor said.
The students, all juniors, said a 20-year-old male initially broke into Holloway's home and then scheduled the party. Action on Twitter caused the party to "escalate and escalate and escalate," Dumas said.
Holloway said the events provide local leaders with an opportune time to react.
"We need to take a stand and respond as a community," he said. "The next flash party, I guarantee you, is being planned right now, and it's not going to be at my house. It's going to be at someone else's."
Holloway said he plans to remain in the area for two weeks. He's continued investigating the party and said he now believes several teenage girls were sexually assaulted and crystal meth and other illicit drugs were used.
"It can go down somewhere else in Albany or Rensselaer this weekend," he said. "If we don't take a stand, we've missed our moment."
Holloway has unsuccessfully tried to sell the 5,000-square-foot home, which sits on 200 acres and is valued at $1.5 million, for several years. He said he's presently at odds with Berkshire Bank over the mortgage, and the bank has threatened to auction the property off in 45 days.
To reach Phil Demers:
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