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Four Duke Students Arrested At Durham Pool Party

Posted September 18, 2005
Updated August 23, 2010

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Updated on Nov. 10, 2006: On May 3, 2006, Joseph Freimuth was found not guilty of all charges, and a judge ordered that all court records related to the arrest and charges be expunged.

Updated on Aug. 23, 2010: On May 10, 2006, Zachary Scheel was found not guilty of all charges, and a judge ordered that all court records related to the arrest and charges be expunged.


Four people were arrested Saturday after Durham police responded to a call about a disturbance at an apartment complex near Duke University. Officers' alleged actions at the scene, however, have some Duke students saying that police took their efforts a little too far.

More than a dozen officers responded to the call at Belmont Apartments on McQueen Drive near LaSalle Street shortly before 2 p.m., where they found approximately 200 people at the apartment complex's pool area and large amounts of beer cans in the trash area, according to the Durham Police Department.

Apartment managers said that the party had become too rowdy and that too many people were breaking the rules.

Eric Weinberg, a Duke student who was at the party, said that when the police came to break it up, they got physical with one student.

"A civil Duke kid got up with a bloody nose," said Weinberg, who took pictures after the confrontation.

The photos show Joseph Freimuth, 21, with what appears to be a bloodied nose and face. Freimuth was charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing officers, as well as second-degree trespassing, even though he lives at the complex.

"Three or four cops tackled him down," Weinberg said. "Duke kids were yelling at these cops, like, 'Why are you doing this? There's no point, this kid's not fighting back,' and before I knew it, the kid got up and had a bloody nose."

The police department is not making it clear if that is what happened in this case. The department issued a news release where it stated that "officers responded to quell the disturbance," and that "no one was injured."

WRAL tried contacting the Durham Police Department to question why, or how, Freimuth ended up with what appeared to blood on his face, but calls have yet to be returned.

Three other students were also arrested: Zachary Scheel, 21, charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing officers and second-degree trespassing; Elena Compton, 21, charged with resisting, delaying and obstructing officers; and Robert Carey, 21, charged with second-degree trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Some residents at the complex told WRAL that they were glad the police came. They say too often students throw loud parties and leave trash scattered outside their apartments.

Weinberg admits the party lifestyle is not for everyone.

"I mean, you're asking a college kid, 'Are these getting out of hand?' and you know, I'm pretty biased and I'll say that they won't. But maybe by an adult's standard, things are different," he said. "Bottom line, I think Durham's addressing an issue that, yeah, there's definitely -- maybe a problem with Duke students, but there's other bigger problems out there."

For several weeks, the police department, along with Duke's campus police and the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, has been cracking down on underage drinking among Duke students after neighbor complaints.

In late August, Durham police cited close to 200 people for underage drinking -- most of them Duke students. At one party, 87 people were cited. Earlier this year, the university got national attention when police broke up a party that featured female students wrestling in baby oil.

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