Seniors’ break-in charges see deal

Scott Gordon

SKOKIE — Two Northwestern football players charged with violently trying to enter an Evanston woman’s house in October settled their case Thursday morning, accepting a community service sentence and apologizing to the woman at Circuit Court in Skokie.

Scott Z. Crohn and William C. Newton originally were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and misdemeanor criminal trespass. The trespass charges were dropped in exchange for both men pleading guilty to the disorderly conduct charges, said their attorney, Marvin Bloom. He said the plea deal was reached so that the state would not have to take the case to trial.

Crohn, a Weinberg senior, and Newton, a Communication senior, were arrested along with two other men around 10 p.m. Oct. 4 after entering the front door of a house on the 900 block of Hamlin Street, then trying to force open the vestibule door while shouting at the people inside the house.

According to the police report, the men started running from the house when police arrived and were arrested across the street.

Also arrested and charged in the incident were Colin Gainer and Anthony Bytnar, both of Portage, Ind., and students at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind.

The resident, Jessica Donnelly, told The Daily she was home at the time of the incident with her sister, young daughter and a friend when she heard noises on her porch.

The Evanston Police Department report states the men entered the front foyer of the house and started trying to force open the inner door. Melissa Stoller, Donnelly’s friend, said she and the other woman were holding the door shut while the men continued to push against the door and yell at the women.

An EPD report on the incident stated that the men appeared to be drunk at the time. The report also states that the men were shouting they were going to beat up a certain NU student, who did not live at the residence.

At a hearing Thursday morning at the Cook County Courthouse, 5600 Old Orchard Road in Skokie, Judge Earl B. Hoffenberg sentenced the men to two days of community service and six months of supervision.

“You did something pretty stupid,” Hoffenberg told the men.

Crohn and Newton both then apologized to Donnelly, who stood near the men in front of the judge.

“I’m sorry that I caused you any distress,” Crohn said.

According to Athletic Department spokesman Michael Wolf, Crohn and Newton were terminated from the football team in October.