$100,000 bail for man charged with going to BU commencement loaded for bear

Brighton Judge Patricia Bernstein agreed with a request from Suffolk County prosecutors to set bail at $100,000 for Andrea Massa, currently of Marshfield, on charges related to the two guns loaded with hollow-point bullets and two magazines full of more of the bullets ne allegedly tried to bring into the BU commencement yesterday.

Should Massa, scion of a Scituate family whose company makes military sonar devices, make bail, he will also have to wear a GPS monitor, surrender any guns he has and stay away from college campuses, the Suffolk County District Attorney's office reports.

According to the DA's office, authorities are now also moving to rescind Massa's license to carry concealed firearms for target practice and hunting because of the incident that started on Harry Agganis Way, near Nickerson Field.

A Boston University Police officer stopped Massa at the security checkpoint area and asked another officer to screen him with a metal detector. Massa - who was dressed entirely in black with military-style pants, a zippered sweatshirt, and scarf - allegedly objected to the security screening process loudly and abruptly, drawing the attention of students, guests, and officers. He turned and began to walk away while apparently texting on his phone.

Concerned for the safety of those at the event, officers stopped him on Commonwealth Avenue and observed a bulge in the rear of his waistband. That bulge turned out to be the first of two loaded handguns recovered from his person. Officers also recovered the two spare magazines from a pouch on his belt and his license to carry from a wallet strapped to his wrist.

Massa was formally charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm on school grounds, disturbing a school, disturbing a public assembly, and violation of a firearm license restriction. It is illegal in Massachusetts to bring a gun on a school campus without the school's consent.

Innocent, etc.

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    Comments

    Interesting

    By on

    That's at least 20x the bail one gets when pulled over with an illegal gun, a bag of crack and five prior felony convictions.

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    That's a garden variety criminal.

    By on

    They are probably considered 'socially friendly' to the broader world and are low risks for messy public massacres at college graduations.

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    lots of red flags but not adjudicated. proceed cautiously

    Two weapons and spare magazines for each. The wrong license and an attempt to evade law enforcement.

    Nothing his wife said by way of explanation made a lot of sense. Instead it raised more questions. She said they were her birthday presents but he wanted to "get used to carrying them." She said it was a misunderstanding but she did not say what her husband misunderstood.

    The Globe reported that the judge ordered a psych evaluation. From what I've learned about this incident, it seems like a good idea. It would be good to know if he is dealing with mental health issues. If so, he can get the help he needs. If not, my guess is that he'll strike a plea deal rather than go to trial.

    It seems the court thinks Drew may be a danger to himself or others. I think it's appropriate for the court to take this cautious and deliberate approach.

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    sigh

    By on

    Perhaps the career (accused) criminals have been doing a good job making it to court dates, so the flight risk isn't there. Perhaps $100,000 to someone with ends is in fact less than $5,000 to someone without a bank account.

    The fail in your example is that in both cases the accused were not accused of any violent acts, therefore do not pose an immediate risk to the public. Therefore, flight is the only factor in the bail.

    I will say this, I'll take a kid with baggy jeans and a pocket full of rock over what the police described this guy as showing up in any day.

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    Hmmm

    By on

    Pants, rocks and pockets are all nice and dandy, but what about the illegal gun?

    As long as he doesn't use it

    By on

    Throw an attempted murder charge in there and sure, make the bail $20,000, or no bail if the ADA can prove that he is a threat on the street.

    To emphasize, the BU bandit can get a home equity line to cover $100,000 bail, assuming the court won't allow the house itself as surety. As is claimed in Gang Leader for a Day, your average "gangbanger" barely has 2 nickels to rub together, let alone $5,000.

    It's fairly easy to avoid

    By on

    It's fairly easy to avoid trouble from a low level drug dealer on the street (don't buy your drugs from them). If this person was indeed trying to shoot up a college graduation, that is a tad bit more disruptive, don't you think?

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    bail<>fine

    By on

    Bail is decided on a case by case basis according to the flight risk of the individual. Severity of the charges is part of the increased likelihood of flight but is not the sole determining factor for bail.

    Of course you knew that. But don't let facts get in the way of the narrative in your head.

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    Flight risk

    By on

    Is definitely not the sole determining factor for bail. Danger to community is another big part - in this case, it made perfect sense. But isn't someone with multiple prior violent crime and illegal firearm convictions just as dangerous? Shouldn't those criminals end up with bails higher than the usual $500 - $5000 range? Aren't most of the shootings/stabbings in the city perpetrated by those who are out on bail or parole?

    Looks like a lucky break to leverage the stupid loose.

    By on

    The Dylan Klebold/Phalange Black look was a bit of a tip off.

    Now allow me to make way for various deflections about hollow points and attorney suppositions and other delightful nonsense that rises to support the notion that no one ever really does anything wrong unless it's the ghetto and then no one ever does anything right.

    And sympathies, agreements and the like for all who will inevitably wonder why guns matter and if this guy is just part of that well regulated militia that rides the logical core of that 2nd amendment thing, despite earnest assertions about "nonono.. it's really about MY right to own a tactical nuclear device if I so choose me me me etc."

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    Non liberalish judge or so

    By on

    Non liberalish judge or so liberal that judge punished him with sky high bail for being legal gun owner ? You decide

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    He's not being punished for being a legal gun owner

    As others have noted, he did NOT have a legal right to be carrying that weapon where he was carrying it - and he SHOULD have known that!

    As others have also noted, the information about where and when graduation was taking place also included ample warning about bag checks and metal detectors for EVERYONE.

    He's being held for being at least a stupid dumbfuck who doesn't have a clue and doesn't read his goddamn instructions or listen to the conditions of his legal carry license.

    He is also being held because it is entirely possible that he intended to shoot somebody.

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    No psych evaulation?

    By on

    Concealing two semi-automatic handguns with four large capacity magazines, wearing a "scarf" and military pants, carrying on a campus and in violation of license restriction, both of which are big parts of the gun safety course he would have taken for licensure and 25,000 people in attendance with Bill Cosby, Deval Patrick and other dignitaries? Whether he went there with malicious intent or not, this guy should be evaluated. Surprised it wasn't ordered.

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    One of the guns was his wife

    By on

    One of the guns was his wife's. I assume the wife handed over her gun to the husband to take back to the car upon seeing the security checkpoint. Someone saw the transfer and the police were called to investigate.

    I don't understand why the wife wasn't issued a citation and had her license suspended for carrying on campus property without permission and in violation of the restrictions on her license.

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    do you have a source?

    One of the guns was his wife's. I assume the wife handed over her gun to the husband to take back to the car upon seeing the security checkpoint. Someone saw the transfer and the police were called to investigate.

    She said she had gotten the guns as a birthday present and that (he brought them to Boston because) he wanted practice carrying them, she said last night on the news.

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    Globe indicates

    By on

    A mental health evaluation was ordered.

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    Tragedy Averted.

    By on

    I think that it is interesting that no one has mentioned "security theater" with respect to the security checkpoints at the BU graduation, although I'm sure that there was plenty of grumbling about it at the time (at least prior to when this guy was prevented from entering).

    Had those checkpoints not been in place, there is a reasonable likelihood that a guy who was offensively armed (as opposed to defensively) would have been right in the middle of thousands of people. (Let's cut through the talking point b.s. - only a person who is planning to shoot many targets or is expecting a gunfight would be carrying two extra magazines in an easily accessible pouch on his belt in that situation.)

    Further, had the cops not followed this guy down the street, who the hell knows what would have happened if he got pissed off about being denied admission (the report seems to indicate that he was unhappy about being subjected to the screening process).

    I don't think that the BU cops are getting nearly enough credit for helping to prevent what could have been a catastrophe.

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    I agree

    As a person who often complains about "security theater", this certainly seems to be a case of good police work, and I think you're right.... the tragedies that didn't happen, don't, of course, make the news.

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    Was his gun randomly found?

    By on

    Where there 4 other entrances within half a mile of the one he tried to get through?

    Taking reasonable actions to not allow a firearm into a contained venue isn't security theater. Randomly checking people in an uncontrollable venue is.

    This guy was trying to bring two guns into a school graduation. It's possible that he had no nefarious purposes in mind, but frankly I feel better knowing that someone that stupid won't be allow to legally carry lethal weapons around any longer!

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    I was a family member of a

    By on

    I was a family member of a graduate there on Sunday. The university sent out emails and was very clear that all bags and persons would be searched, and that no unnecessary items should be brought into the graduation.in fact all bags were searched and they put an electronic wand on everyone. I think both the man and his wife should be held (she obviously knew about the guns to claim that one belonged to her). I think a tragedy was averted, and I am grateful to the police for intercepting him.

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    I don't know

    Maybe you're right, but can you explain what a good reason would be to bring this particular weaponry in to this venue? I can't think of one, but I'm willing to entertain the idea, if you can make a good argument for it.

    Ok, for you I will.

    A lot of people who carry a gun for personal self-defense in public feel it is a basic right. This goes to a 2008 decision by the Supreme Court, DC vs. Heller, that reversed a hundred years of jurisprudence when it decided the Second Amendment spoke to an individual right to bear arms, as opposed to a right to bear arms for the common defense.

    The Heller decision, written by Scalia, is premised on a mythical history but it is now the law of the land. So people who carry firearms for self-defense feel it is a right to carry a firearm for self-defense and that since it is a right, they don't need a reason. That said people have reasons for doing things.

    So is it plausible Drew might choose to bring two guns and two extra magazines with no intent to discharge the weapons criminally and to use them only if he (or his group) was confronted with imminent bodily harm or death? I think the answer is yes and at the same time I think that his decision to bring two guns and two extra magazines raises an important question: What reasonable person thinks they need that much firepower for self-defense?

    If Drew wasn't thinking so much about self-defense but instead about getting "used to carrying" the new firearms his wife got her birthday aka playing with his new toys (um, with which he may have an unhealthy relationship) then his decision makes sense and entails no bad intent.

    In an other potential scenario, his wife carried one and he carried the other and she gave him hers to bring back to the car.

    Still, just as plausibly, Drew had ill will in mind.

    I may be totally misreading

    I may be totally misreading his wife's comments, but I'm under the impression that he is not somebody who routinely carries guns on his person. The fact that he would choose a crowded university graduation to be the day he starts "practicing" carrying around his guns is just inexplicable to me. The Herald story also mentions that both guns were "tucked" in his waistband, which I associate more with street criminals than responsible gun owners.

    And what about the multiple magazines? Was he expecting to practice "reloading?"

    Best case, this may be a case of some overly sheltered homebody who doesn't get out of Marshfield much who is frightened of the "big city" and expects to be dodging bullets on his way into graduation. I only hope there wasn't a worse case scenario being planned, but at this point, only Massa knows.

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    Anonymous gets today's level-headed award.

    By on

    For the record, I wish to state that I appreciate your level-headed "let's-not-jump-to-conclusions" posts on this thread. It is something that is often absent from many discussions.

    I also appreciate, however, that you seem to be discounting the "he might have had a non-bad intent" reason for carrying all of that metal. My guess is that if this ever gets in font of a Suffolk County jury, they're going to completely discount it too.

    On a related note, many have brought up possible mental incapacity of some kind as exculpatory. Of course, this could be the case, and it would factor into whether the requisite intent could be found.

    If this turns out to be the case, however, it highlights what we all already know (or should know and/or admit): we have a big problem with giving licenses to own and carry firearms to people who should not be given said licenses.

    You only think you know about guns

    By on

    I'm betting that you would have problem shooting targets with anything that didn't completely obliterate them, though.

    Knowledge and fetish - two different things!