Still No Charges in April Death of UMass Dartmouth Student
The death of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth freshman Frank Anthony Petillo Jr. in April stunned the campus just weeks before the semester was to wrap. Police have not yet charged anyone with Petillo's death.
The 19-year-old Petillio of Manahawkin, New Jersey, was a first-year Biomedical Engineering major at the UMass College of Engineering.
Petillo died from injuries he suffered when struck by a vehicle while walking on Ring Road in front of the Balsam Dormitory, where he lived on campus, after 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 6.
According to Chancellor Mark Fuller, witnesses reported Petillo was walking with a friend in front of his dorm and next to campus police when he was hit. Petillo was pronounced dead later at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford.
The following day, an editorial in the UMass Dartmouth student newspaper The Torch demanded immediate safety improvements to Ring Road, including more crosswalks, speed bumps and the addition of sidewalks.
The university is in the process of complying with the demands.
On April 7, 2023, Boston's WCVB-TV reported "The (Bristol County) District Attorney's office said Petillo was struck by a gray Honda Accord that was driven by another student."
The station said the "student stayed at the scene."
CBS News Boston Channel 4 reported on April 10 that police expected to bring charges "in the coming days."
But that still hasn't happened.
Megen Borges Beleda, Chief Financial Officer for the Bristol County District Attorney's Office, told me in a recent email, "Nobody has been charged yet, this case is still under investigation. Thank you."
Folks I have spoken with wonder why, nearly five months later, this matter has yet to be resolved. I think that's a fair question.