Posted at: 09/22/2013 1:23 AM
| Updated at: 09/22/2013 12:16 PM
By: Steve Flamisch
STEPHENTOWN -- The former National Football League player whose house was trashed by hundreds of partying teenagers on Labor Day weekend invited them all to a picnic Saturday to clean up the mess and honor veterans.
Brian Holloway, a Pro Bowl offensive lineman who played for the Patriots and Raiders, told NewsChannel 13 only four of the estimated 300 party-goers showed up to accept responsibility for their actions.
"That showing was a failing grade, but what we did was celebrate and acknowledge the four that did come," Holloway said.
Cousins Mikaela Byrnes and Ricky Nelson, of Waterford, are two of the teens who came forward. Both were prominently featured in pictures and Tweets that went viral after the August 31 party, which happened while Holloway was at his other home in Florida.
The sixteen year-olds said they swept floors and washed windows at Holloway's house Saturday. They also picked up many of the beer bottles and cans strewn on the wooded, 200-acre property off Route 43.
"I came back to clear my conscience, say 'I'm sorry' to him in person, shake his hand," Nelson said. "I bought him an apology card, and gave that to him from me and Mikaela."
Holloway, who now travels the country as a motivational speaker, asked the teens to avoid self-destructive behavior in the future, and to share that message with their friends, Byrnes said.
"He just kind of told me to relay the message to my classmates... no more partying," she said. "He made me promise that he doesn't have to bury me in ten years."
Though Holloway said he is hoping to "save the 300" teenagers, he vowed they will be held accountable for the party and the estimated $20,000 in damage to his property. The Rensselaer County Sheriff's Department is investigating.
"They all committed a crime," he said. "There are going to be repercussions that will be significant for some and infinitely significant for others."
Holloway said he would not be surprised to see dozens of teens face charges of breaking and entering, drug possession, underage drinking, and vandalism. He said he also expects a few rape charges, but he declined to elaborate.
LEGAL BATTLE UNFOLDING
Holloway is under fire for outing many of the party-goers by re-posting their incriminating photos and Tweets to his personal website, www.helpmesave300.com.
Though the parents of several party-goers have reportedly threatened legal action, Holloway said his attorneys have assured him there is no cause for concern.
"They would not be successful," he said of potential lawsuits.
Holloway said legal action would only ratchet up the already intense press coverage of the case. He cautioned the parents contemplating lawsuits to consider the media scrutiny that might follow.
"If they decide to press that button... it escalates everything," he said.
A financial fight is also looming. Holloway said his bank, after learning of the damage caused by the party, decided to put the property up for auction on October 29. That claim could not be immediately verified.
He said several parties have expressed interest in the house, including an agency that might want to convert it to a campus for at-risk youth. He declined to identify the agency.
While Holloway said he stands to lose a great deal of money -- he said he has already spent $5,000 on repairs -- he encouraged many of the people who attended his picnic Saturday to donate to breast cancer research, instead of giving money to him.
He also stressed his desire to help active duty service members and veterans, saying they are welcome at his Stephentown property as long as he owns it.