, Salem, MA

Local News

March 8, 2014

DA: Endicott student claimed ties to Mob after assaults

BEVERLY — The Endicott College sophomore now under indictment for randomly attacking three fellow students last month, leaving two with what a prosecutor called “life-changing injuries,” allegedly had a warning for one witness in the case.

Dillon DeStefano warned the fellow student, an acquaintance who’d been with him during the incidents, that “he’d better not say anything, because his family has connections to the Mob in New Jersey,” prosecutor James Gubitose told a Salem Superior Court judge yesterday during DeStefano’s arraignment.

DeStefano, 19, of River Vale, N.J., pleaded not guilty to two counts of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury and a charge of assault and battery.

One student suffered a shattered eye socket and the other a broken and dislocated jaw that will have to remain wired shut for eight weeks, Gubitose told Judge John Lu. The third student was put in a headlock and struck in the face but was not seriously injured.

Gubitose is asking Lu to deem DeStefano too dangerous to release before trial. A Salem District Court judge last week found DeStefano a danger, but the indictment and transfer of the case to the Superior Court starts that process all over again.

Gubitose described the three assaults, starting with a young man who was walking with his girlfriend when he was jumped, put in a headlock and punched.

DeStefano and some acquaintances then went to get something to eat, before he attacked a second classmate, leaving him with a broken eye socket.

Shortly after that, he was seen on surveillance video from the campus “almost mocking” the victim, appearing to laugh as he re-enacted the way the victim reeled back, Gubitose told the judge.

The third victim was a freshman baseball player who was “sucker punched” in the jaw, leaving it broken and out of place. The student, who attended Endicott because he wanted to play baseball, has lost the entire season as a result, said the prosecutor.

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