FITCHBURG (FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) – A Fitchburg State University student arrested on Nov. 18 for allegedly possessing a semiautomatic ammunition belt has had his bail reduced from $50,000 cash to $500 with home confinement.
Andrew K. Despres, 20, of New Bedford, was arrested for trespassing and possessing ammunition without an FID card as he attempted to remove his belongings from his dorm room following his expulsion from school on Nov. 17. Despres was expulled for alleged infractions, including marijuana possession and possession of other items that are prohibited from being on campus, reports the Sentinel and Enterprise.
However, family and friends of Despres told the newspaper that the belt is fake and nothing more than a fashion statement. They say he is being discriminated against because of his punk appearance.
Despres' supporters also claim that heightened emotions surrounding the recent shooting in Newtown, Conn. contributed to his arrest.
"He doesn't conform to what anyone else is wearing, but he doesn't do anything bad," Doreen Despres told the newspaper. "It isn't a crime to look different."
Doreen Despres said her son has worn the belt nearly every day for two years, including on campus.
If Despres makes bail, he is to have no contact with Fitchburg State University.
For more information: Sentinel and Enterprise