BEVERLY — Beverly police arrested a suspect last night linked to a series of attacks on Endicott College students that occurred early Sunday morning near the main campus.
Dillon Destefano, 19, of Riverdale, N.J., has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault and battery. He is a student at the school.
One victim had sustained a broken eye socket, while another reported a jaw injury.
The three attacks happened between 1:30 and 2:30 a.m., according to an email from Endicott College President Richard Wylie sent to students and parents Monday afternoon.
“The important piece here, to us, is that as soon as it [the incident] happened, the student community rose up and gave us a lot of information,” said Wylie. “It was the students here that identified and gave us all the information that we needed to get to the Beverly police, get an arrest warrant, and have this young man arrested tonight.”
In the email Wylie said that because the attackers were unknown to the students, there was a possibility it was part 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 said.
One male student reported that he was walking along a path toward the main campus when he was approached by two unidentified men. After passing the men on the path, one of them punched the victim in the face with a closed fist, breaking one of his eye sockets, according to Beverly police spokesman Officer Mike Boccuzzi.
A second victim reported a similar attack occurring in the area of the Hale Street campus, in which that victim sustained a jaw injury.
A third victim reported a similar assault to Endicott Campus Safety, suffering minor injuries.
“Whether it’s the ‘knockout game’ or not, no one has the right to go up to someone and try to knock them out,” Wylie said.