But when officers spoke to one of those friends, he described watching DeStefano hit two men at two different spots on campus.
Both victims were being treated at Beverly Hospital when police spoke with them.
The first, whose eye was completely swollen shut, was walking toward the Brindle Hall dormitory around 2:30 p.m. when he was approached by two men.
One of them, a man with short blond hair, said something to him. He told him to “shut up,” and then a man “from out of nowhere” punched him in the eye.
The victim thinks he may have been knocked unconscious. He walked back to the dorm, cleaned up and went to bed. The following morning, his friends urged him to go to the hospital.
The other victim said he had been at a party at the “Baseball” house on Hale Street, then began walking alone along a dark, wooded path, when he was approached by two men. One of the men asked, “Are you looking at me?” The victim said no and kept walking, but one of the men then turned and punched him in the jaw.
A third student has reported being assaulted to the campus security office, but no charges have been filed in that incident.
DeStefano’s family had posted $20,000 cash bail for him following his arrest Tuesday, but Collins filed a motion to have him put back in custody, arguing that the suspect is too dangerous to release under any conditions.
Machera agreed to grant the hearing, ordering court officers to take DeStefano into custody in the courtroom. He will be held at Middleton Jail at least until the Feb. 13 hearing.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.