Former EHHS Basketball Star Back Behind Bars

Michael Russell, 22, was arrested Monday after an alleged home invasion in Worcester, MA.

Michael E. Russell, a former star point guard for the East Hampton High School basketball team who has been in and out of trouble over the past five years, was arrested Monday in connection with a home invasion in Worcester, MA, where he was attending college.

Russell, 22, entered an apartment with two other masked men — one of the three men reportedly had a gun, according to Worcester police. They demanded money from four Worcester Polytechnic Institute students, some of whom they ordered to get to the floor while others were moved elsewhere in the apartment, at about 1:20 a.m., police said.

Police said one victim fought back, struggling with one of the suspects, and pulled down his mask. That's when the suspects reportedly fled in a vehicle.

Detectives "worked on establishing a motive to this incident," and identified Russell as one of the suspects. He was taken into custody in his dorm room at Becker College on Monday at 4:30 a.m.

He is charged with home invasion. According to the Worcester County Sheriff's Department, Russell is being held on $5,000 bail.

Police are still searching for the two other suspects.

The Worcester Gazette & Telegram reported that Becker College gave him a notice of a “summary suspension.” He is not allowed on campus pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings.

Russell, a junior, was playing basketball for The Hawks of Becker, but his name has already been pulled off the roster. In a recent game against Regis College, he led the team to a 58-54 win, scoring 12 points and posting 5 assists to help Becker come from behind, the college website reported. 

This is not the first time Russell has found himself in trouble.

His legal woes began in 2007, when he was still in high school while he was still playing for his grandfather, famed head coach Ed Petrie. Along with two other teenagers, Russell was charged with attempting to rob a bicyclist in East Hampton. Then 17, Russell was just coming off an undefeated regular season. He was named a first-team All-Long Island player for the 2006-7 basketball team. He did not serve any jail sentence in that case.

A co-captain, he led his team to the state finals in 2008.

Just as he was about to go off to Angelina Junior College in Texas, town police arrested him on felony burglary charges in August 2008. He took a deal, and pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and was sentenced in early 2009 to one year in Suffolk County jail, according to 27East. County jail records show he was released in May, after serving about four months.

In December 2008, he was indicted in New Hampshire, accused of holding a knife to the alleged victim's face in Keene the previous September, 27East reported at that time. According to the report, days before the assault allegedly took place, Russell was picked up in New Hampshire on charges of unlawful possession of alcohol and resisting detention.

The disposition of those cases were not immediately available from the Cheshire County Superior Court, which would only confirm the cases were closed.

Then last January, he was arrested following a large fight outside of East Hampton Bowl during which officers had to use pepper spray and the stun gun portion of their Tasers to subdue the crowd. He was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct, a violation.

Reached by phone on Tuesday morning, Petrie had no comment.

Neighbor J January 29, 2013 at 09:23 PM
Mike may have done wrong and now has to worry about paying the price and "Yes," we can go around blaming school, jail and family until the sun goes down but the truth is... everything plays a part in the decisions people make. Some choose wisely... some don't. It is also true that home environment influences how we may turn out... but many of those who were raised in a terrible environment never committed a crime AND many of those who were raised the so-called "right way" did horrific things. I have just one thing to ask of everyone who wants to comment on Mike's situation: Anyone in your family commit a crime or go to jail? I am sure that there are not many of you who answered "No." I'm not making excuses for what he may have done... I am just saying, think before casting dispersion’s on people. As you are aware of from your on life, hind sight is 20/20. Many of those reading about Mike Russell were just lucky enough not to have gotten caught.
Taylor K. Vecsey (Editor) January 29, 2013 at 09:58 PM
You are referring to the game photo? Right, he's not in the game photo, but the other photo was from the same game and I guess I clicked the wrong second photo. I removed it so there's no confusion. Not sure what you meant by late though.
ViralGrain January 30, 2013 at 12:29 AM
Well said neighbor J. - Yes Yes- No, no, no.- Anyway you can't really blame family. Its been messed up since Adam and Eve. Forget the blame. It doesn't really matter at this point. We will get drawn into the chicken and the egg senario trying to figure that one out and all get pissed at each other. I just wanted to point out a fact there is something very wrong here. I do not believe we are the most evil nation in the world. But if you were to go by statistics alone and look at our prison and probation stats it would seem like that. We are all only human. We all make mistakes which causes chaos. Chaos breeds more chaos and before you know it everything is in a chaotic state. Our system is chaotic. We got murders walking free, innocent people locked up. Plea bargans that let some off the hook and others that slam people with far more time then is necessary for them to learn from their wrong doing. Throwing the baby out with the bath water is not the answer when all it is that needs to be changed is the water.
ViralGrain January 30, 2013 at 12:38 AM
Some good charts and info that might surprise you. And Yes Yes, no no I'm not Scottish either I'm an American. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2012/09/8279/3
Sarah January 30, 2013 at 04:41 AM
Oh the hate. Instead of bashing him, maybe we should find a way to help him. It takes a community to raise a child.
ViralGrain January 30, 2013 at 05:19 AM
Thats a great proverb. Thats true, it does take a community to raise a child.
Penny January 30, 2013 at 06:06 AM
These posts always create a place to attack others. Sad to read the absolute negativity of this community & the quick jump to blame his family, his grandparents, on down the line. Mike has a loving family, so what went wrong? Well...some people make bad choices, no matter what opportunities are presented to them. And...the company we keep...also influences that behavior. MIke's not a bad kid. He's done bad things for sure. But to demonize him as a human being is just the wrong approach. Until you've lived in someone else's house...you have no idea how they live...and even then, you may never know. He will answer to these charges & pay the price. Maybe he will finally learn his lesson. Maybe not. But to refer to him as a piece of garbage? That's just unnecessary. I don't excuse his behavior in any way. But to attack him in this forum...what real purpose does it serve? I'm just glad no one was shot or killed. Maybe we should all take a closer look at our own kids & see & know what they're up to at home, so they don't end up here...in print, jail or worse. Mikey...you've got to get a clue kiddo, before you lose all the freedom to do so.
Preliator January 30, 2013 at 10:54 AM
Yeah, keep that in mind when he breaks into your house.
Jaguar-Guy January 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM
He broke into a home with 2 guys and a gun. Another time he held a knife to someone's throat. Yeah, let's all help him MORE. He's had break after break - ONLY BECAUSE HE IS AN ATHLETE. As a human being, he is a piece of garbage. Hopefully, with some jail time and soul-searching, he will turn into a human being later in life and not hurt anyone. 22 and so many violent crimes already. And, there goes his college ride. So, here is a guy that had things handed to him on a silver platter and BLEW IT, and now he will be a drain on the system forever (most likely). What a friggin' waste.
Jaguar-Guy January 30, 2013 at 12:13 PM
Sure Viral - let him hold the knife at your throat and gun at your head. Product of the system?? He is 22, lived in East Hampton and had a college scholarship(s). YOU ARE A DOPE. He chose to be a criminal, he was not turned into a criminal by "society". What a bleeding-heart loser. People like you are the reason there are people like him. YOU ENABLE.
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars January 30, 2013 at 12:57 PM
"until you've lived in someone's house"???????? Excuses, excuses, excuses... How long did you live in his house PENNY? I have been reading about this guy since he was a kid. Now he is an adult jackass! What a fool! There are kids with ZERO opportunity in this world, this idiot had it all. He had every opportunity to archive and decided to be a common punk. I guarantee you that he will wind up being in prison for the better part of many years to come. Thank god he didn't kill one of those college kids or one of his own loser friends. There is absolutely no excuse for his behavior at this point. It's not like he stole a pack of gum, or something to eat. He was a juvenile delinquent who became a punk who turned into a thug. What's next? If he commits his next brilliant move against you or your family, lets see how your opinion changes. I agree that he is a piece of garbage, what else can you say about someone who has committed such violent acts at his age repeatedly. He does not learn. It's only a matter of time before he kills someone. It is no ones fault but his own. Deal with the facts penny, BAD EGG !!!
ViralGrain January 30, 2013 at 02:02 PM
The kid needs to learn to be honest. It doesn't matter what family he came from. We all pride our selves on being able to keep it real, but the fact is its harder for some then others. Jails, prisons and probation might have anger management, and GED classes but do they have one class that teaches someone to be honest? That should be the core thing that is taught. Why not when being honest with your self and others is vital for a successful fortified life for you self and for society at a whole? This is what I mean by saying yes the system failed the kid like it does to millions of others rite now!. We got boot camps for them which can be effective in giving structure to a kid who never had any. We got psychologist psychobabble counseling that likes to put things in nice neat boxes and label them with such labels as ADHD, bipolar and so on, but really everyone is unique despite whatever label they have. No classes that teach the kid or adult to be honest. Honest with themselves, honest with their feelings, and honest with others. Honesty does not come naturally so it needs to be taught because of fight or flight. It takes courage sometimes to keep it real. We put to much emphasis on a person's character. We vote in our presidents based on their character when really we should be respecting people of principal. Honestly we need honesty in the curriculum if we need someone like this kid to change his ways.
Kyle Russell January 30, 2013 at 03:03 PM
Preliator and 1/2 and 1/2 2 sugars.. I know for a fact that your lives isn't perfect.. By bashing him what is that accomplishing?? Does it make you feel better as person?? I know what it says about your character.. Trashy people of the Hamptons.. Gossip gossip gossip..
Bonacprincess January 30, 2013 at 03:11 PM
Your family could be saints. Church goers. Police. Teachers. Therapist and you can still have a problem child. Maybe he has underlying issues that make him do why he does. Peer pressure too. I would only have to go to jail once and that would be enough to scare the hell out of me and it would straighten me up. Obviously mike needs help. Instead of bashing him maybe we need to help him. And for some of you bashing him the way you do I would hate to be your child In fear of if anything happened to me like this that you would be so quick to run your back on me. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve to go to jail for what he has done because he does. Buthe needs treatment to get into his head to see why such a smart , talented young man could do such things Keep your head up Russell family and always have each others back no matter what
Gail Simons January 30, 2013 at 03:17 PM
Something like this always makes me wonder what went wrong. Was there one particular event in this kid's life that led to this? Were there more warnings when he was younger that no one caught? What makes a seemingly decent kid from a pretty good area turn out like this? Is there help for him besides jail? Is someone like this rehabilitatable. Knee-jerk response is to say "he's a lost cause, headed for life-long trouble", but does that have to be? Is it possible to turn someone like this into a valuable member of society? Should we be angry? Yes, of course. But isn't there a saddness about this - so young. I'm sure this is very heartbreaking for his family...
Preliator January 30, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Yeah my life is not perfect but I don't have a record either or a history of violent behavior. You call me trashy but who is the one assaulting people and getting arrested?
Johnnyeh3838 January 30, 2013 at 05:01 PM
We all need to be VERY thankful that no one was hurt and things did not go horribly wrong during his last criminal act. The only person to blame here is Michael himself. Now after several years in jail maybe he will see the error of his ways. I am not going to hold my breath but we can hope. Its not time to bash his family NOR a time to feel sorry for him, its time he goes to jail for a very long time. And thats that!
Ashly O'Shea January 30, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Here in "the Hamptons" there are several types of us. We are locals, visitors, professionals, employees, employers, grinders, users, givers, takers, law abiding, law breakers....this list goes on. We are who we are. Either way, we hustle to get "ours". The grass is never greener, and there are brown spots on everyone's lawn.
Ashly O'Shea January 30, 2013 at 08:00 PM
have you ever been to prison?
mtkmiss January 31, 2013 at 02:43 AM
Well said Ashly!
Penny January 31, 2013 at 03:57 AM
I agree...nicely put.
Penny January 31, 2013 at 04:10 AM
I know Michael & his family...I never lived in their home, nor did I claim to 1/2 n 1/2 . You seem intent on screaming your beliefs here, at me or any of Mike's friends, family. I make no excuses for the man. I don't condone his behavior but I also don't consider him a lost cause. I'd hate to be a child, niece or nephew in your orbit...death penalty for all. We hear you. We don't have to agree. Mike's past offenses will surely come up & figure into this equation. How about we leave judgement up to the courts?
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Here is an article from January 2012 on Russell's arrest in East Hampton.
Brendan J. O'Reilly (Editor) February 01, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Sorry, here's the link: http://easthampton.patch.com/articles/arrests-made-in-bowl-brawl
GeezGuys February 06, 2013 at 03:19 AM
Stop trying to rob drug dealers Mikey.... Did you just randomly pick someones house to break into and demand money or does every 20 year old college student carry lots of cash? It's clear as day what the motive was! How about getting a job? Even at minimum wage he would've made more money then in this robbery attempt!
fred Funk March 06, 2013 at 07:42 PM
none of you idiots know what happened in either of mikeys so called attacks. The knife charges were false, trumped up by a prejudice dad, there is no confirmed gun on latest. Mikey is no angle, but you cowards need to get a life, or use your name when trashing others.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. March 07, 2013 at 12:15 AM
Sarah do you know Mike? Do you know he was suspended in school for spitting in another persons face because he disagreed with her. Has robbed multiple times . Multiple charges of sexual misconduct. Why dont you go visit him and help him? You are part of the community right? Maybe Viral will join you. You can group hug the badness out of him.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. March 07, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Who cares Penny. Punk is a punk is a punk. Mike is a punk. He didnt make a mistake. Multiple felonies over multiple years is no mistake. Punk is a punk is a punk.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. March 07, 2013 at 12:22 AM
He is being treated just as he has treated. It's all on him. I will add that none of his relatives act like this. Honestly surprised it went so wrong. He is still a punk.
Darren Gengarelly Sr. March 07, 2013 at 12:25 AM
This coming from "fred funk". So typical.


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