Student spends 6 days in jail for noise violation

Six days in jail, 30 days on house arrest, more than $1,000 in fines and court costs, 52 hours community service, one alcohol awareness class and apology letters is the punishment for Sigma Nu member Michael Parisi.

Parisi took the heat for two noise violations at the Sigma Nu fraternity annex house last semester.

The Sigma Nu house, located at 131 University Drive, received its first noise violation in late August.

Parisi was sentenced to pay $280 in fines and complete 16 hours of community service. According to court documents, the fines were paid on time.

The 36 hours of community service were tacked on to the 16 given to Parisi at the trial for Sigma Nu’s second violation, which took place in late October.

Mike Szabo, a member of Phi Kappa Tau, said he also received two noise violations in late August at his fraternity house at 216 University Drive.

“They were probably issued less than a minute apart,” Szabo said, “but according to the report it was 12 minutes.”

He said the police came to the fraternity house and told the residents to turn down the music and tell their guests to leave, and they complied.

“The next thing I knew, I was being arrested,” Szabo said.

He was held overnight in jail and was told he was able to leave at any time, but when friends came to pick him up, police wouldn’t release him. He said he wasn’t released until 9 a.m. the next day.

Szabo was originally sentenced to pay $1,500 for two noise violations until Kent State Student Legal Services was able to reduce it to $400 and 18 hours of community service.

The fines and court costs for Parisi and Szabo surpassed $1,000 because of an amendment to the noise ordinance, which was passed by Kent City Council last March. It was passed with an 8-1 decision.

According to the official minutes from the March 7 council meeting, the late William Schultz, former councilman at-large, said he could not support a motion to pass the amendment because $500 was an excessive punishment for a noise violation.

The amended ordinance includes a maximum fine of $1,000 and 30 days in jail for the first offense. If the person in violation of the ordinance doesn’t comply after the first warning or citation, the penalty will include a minimum fine of $500.

Kent Law Director Jim Silver said the ordinance was put in place to cut down on the number of loud parties in the area.

“You wouldn’t have that party at your grandmother’s house, why would you have it here?” Silver said.

Along with the other punishments, Judge John J. Plough sentenced Parisi to attend one session of an alcohol awareness class at the DeWeese Health Center and to write letters of apology to all non-student neighbors.

Plough could not be reached for comment.

Eric Fink, assistant law director for the City of Kent, said the sentence was unusual.

Fink said a judge takes many factors into consideration when deciding the sentence. Factors usually include prior record and level of remorse.

Parisi missed an appointment in court in December for his first noise violation. Silver said judges take offense to people not following court orders.

Neighbor to the Sigma Nu house, Paul Hammond was surprised at the punishment.

“I’m sure we’ve been loud, too,” Hammond said. “They never bother us.”

Parisi already served three days in jail the weekend of Jan. 18, and will serve the second three-day stint from Feb. 1 to Feb. 4.

Contact enterprise reporter Amadeus Smith at [email protected] and Greek life reporter Jessica Lumpp at [email protected].