Five freshmen charged with disturbing the peace changed their pleas from innocent to nolo, after lengthy trials in Third District Court yesterday. Each paid court expenses of $10, and the cases were filed.
The five, Charles E. Beveridge, Peter D. M. Pereira, Arthur B. Ellison, Stephen Shohet and Rector K. Fox were arrested after allegedly participating an election eve "anti-Dever riot" on Cambridge Common.
Police officers William Murray and William Storey tabbed Ellison as a "ring-leader" in a crowd which had gathered on the Common near a searchlight truck on Garden St. The crowd was shouting obscenities "not fit to be heard in open court," Murray said. He later arrested Ellison as the student ran toward the entrance of the Commander Hotel, crying "Let's break up the (Dever) rally."
Storey claimed Ellison shouted, at various times, "All policemen are grafters. What are you, Dever's gestapo? Down with the police, Boo." Shohet had also been shouting and running, he said.
Both Shohet and Ellison testified they had not been on the Common at all. At the moment of arrest, they were headed for the hotel to attend the rally, but Ellison had stopped to give Shohet his sweater, thus disobeying a dispersal order they had never heard.
Only Fox Confesses
Rector K. Fox was the only man who admitted being in the crowd and making the "loud outcries" all were charged with. Storey said he pursued Fox, just beating another officer to the arrest. But Fox claimed that Storey, noting him walking away from the Commander, had shouted. "Hey, buddy, come over here." When Fox complied, Storey arrested him.
Both Pereira and Beveridge were picked up later, as they stopped to watch the first three defendants being herded to a prowl car. Pereira admitted to saying, a propos of a bent-over officer. "What a tempting target that would make."
Said Judge Louis D. Green finally, "The police did well in averting a riot . . . but I don't want to harm these boys." He allowed the nolo plea he had earlier suggested, although intimating he would otherwise find the five guilty.