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Woodfest party arrests yield 2 guilty pleas

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Two men have pleaded guilty to criminal charges from the Woodfest ‘11, a block party on East Woodruff Avenue, in May.

Matthew J. Coleman, 19, pleaded guilty to two class-one misdemeanor counts of assault Oct. 26. Michael E. Shivak, 21, pleaded guilty to a class-one misdemeanor count of attempted obstruction of official business on Oct. 18, according to Franklin County Court Records.

Brian F. Witt, 21, is charged with a class-four felony count to which he has pleaded not guilty and his trial is currently set for Nov. 29, according to Franklin County Court Records.

Coleman and Shivak have also been given 12 months probation by Judge Stephen L. McIntosh. Shivak was fined $200 and Coleman was fined $800.

Woodfest ‘11 was a string of house parties which spilled onto the street on May 15 involving a crowd of more than 1,000 people, according to police reports from the incident. When the crowd grew disorderly, officers from the Columbus Police Department were called in around midnight. Many people did not heed officers’ demands to leave the area and officers then used pepper spray to clear the streets, according to police reports.

Coleman and Shivak threw bottles at officers and Coleman elbowed an officer in the face. Coleman and Witt sustained minor injuries and three police officers were also injured during the event, according to police reports.

A class-five felony count for obstruction of official business was dropped for Coleman. And a class-four felony count for assault was also dropped for Shivak.

Coleman and Witt are Ohio State students.

Andrea Goldblum, director of student conduct, said she could not speak about students’ cases without their written consent due to federal privacy laws, but generally, school eligibility is not affected.

“I can tell you that generally, school eligibility is not automatically impacted by pleading guilty in court to a misdemeanor, except under state law in certain very specific circumstances involving crimes of violence,” Goldblum said in an email.

Witt and Coleman did not respond to requests for comment.

Lawyers for all three men did not immediately respond for comment.

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