Charges Dropped Against FSU Fraternity President

By: Matt Galka, Julie Montanaro Email
By: Matt Galka, Julie Montanaro Email
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By: Julie Montanaro
October 7, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - An FSU fraternity president arrested and accused of an open house party is no longer facing charges for it.

Twenty-one year-old Matthew Berman was arrested in August by FSU police. Berman is the president of Alpha Tao Omega fraternity.

He was arrested after FSU police stopped two underage drinkers nearby - one dropped his red solo cup and told them he got it at the fraternity house.

Prosecutors dropped the charges against Berman, saying there was not enough evidence to prove it.

Berman's lawyer says police "overreacted" and arrested him for a crime he did not commit.


By: Matt Galka
August 29, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - The president of Alpha Tau Omega at Florida State is facing charges that he allowed minors to drink at a party. Matthew Berman was arrested Monday after two other underage drinkers were nabbed close to the frat house.

"The information that we had indicated that the source of the alcohol in which they had obtained came from the ATO fraternity house, so our officers went over there to make contact with the president," said FSU Police Department Major Jim Russell.

According to FSU P.D., one of the suspected underage drinkers threw away a red "SOLO" cup when he saw an officer near South Woodward and Learning way. He then told police he was drinking at the fraternity.

Alpha Tau Omega's national chapter is currently looking into the allegations.

"I don't know if i'm surprised that college students were drinking, we don't condone underage drinking," said ATO National Chapter President Wynn Smiley. "It certainly is a violation of state law and a violation of state rules so we'll be following up and taking appropriate action."

FSU P.D. says they typically see these types of violations every fall.

"During the beginning of the school year and fall semester you have a lot of incoming freshman, a lot of people that are new to college, that feel that we're at college and the rules are relaxed. Unfortunately the rules are not relaxed, the law is the same 365 days a year no matter where you are," said Russell.

Berman is being represented by Attorney Ethan Way who released this statement saying: "We vigourously deny the allegations and look forward to Mr. Berman's complete vindication."


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