Prominent Rochester attorney John Parrinello made a public statement Tuesday in reaction to his arrest over the weekend in which he was tossed from a Monroe Community College women’s basketball game.
Parrinello apologized to his son, Tim, who is coach of the MCC women’s basketball team, and to the rest of his family, but gave no mea culpa to the school, where he is a trustee. Parrinello said he was not there in any official capacity for MCC.
“I was alone at a basketball game Sunday as a fan, not a lawyer, trustee, ambassador or representative of MCC,” Parrinello said in a written statement.
Police say Parrinello was at a basketball game Sunday afternoon at Genesee Community College using abusive and vulgar language while sitting in the stands of the game, but Parrinello said that isn’t true. Parrinello admitted to razzing the referee, but never used foul language.
“In the second half of the game, I loudly protested a call made by one of the referees who stopped the game,” he said. “When I shouted, ‘You have rabbit ears’ to the same referee, he stopped the game again. I never directed any vulgar language toward the referee, nor did I gesture or leave my seat.”
Police say security asked him to leave but Parrinello refused. Security officers called police, who arrested him after he continued to protest leaving the game, which was between MCC and the Community College of Rhode Island.
“GCC security asked me to leave and at first I refused because they (security) would give me no reason,” Parrinello said. “After the game resumed, I sat there watching the game when NYS Trooper (Daniel) Hollands arrived. When Trooper Hollands said I had to leave, I asked why and at first refused.
“When Trooper Hollands ordered me to leave or he would arrest me, I agreed to leave. I attempted to leave by the exit to the right, closer to where my car was parked. The trooper said no and that I had to leave by the exit in the opposite direction. When I tried to explain where my car was, Trooper Hollands grabbed me by the arms, put them behind my back and handcuffed me and led me out the exit he chose.”
Parrinello, who is known for numerous high-profile defense cases, was taken away in cuffs and charged with third-degree criminal trespass, a misdemeanor Warner said.
MCC issued a statement from its chairman of the MCC board of trustees, Kenneth Goode, who said the behavior of Parrinello was regrettable and apologized to the host, Genessee Community College and the opponent, the Community College of Rhode Island . MCC officials, who have otherwise declined to comment on the arrest, have not taken any disciplinary action to date.
Parrinello’s son, Tim, is in his 15th year as head coach of the MCC women’s basketball team, and has won three NJCAA Division II national championships — in 2001, 2004 and 2005 — along with a NJCAA Division I title in 2006. John Parrinello’s nephew, Jeff, is in his eighth year as an assistant coach on the team.
“I apologize to my son, Tim, and my family, all of whom I love dearly,” Parrinello said.
He was given a court appearance ticket for Batavia Town Court to appear Dec. 20 at 1 p.m.
Parrinello, a former Rochester vice-mayor and city councilman in the 1970s, was charged with contempt of court for courtroom outbursts last April during former Greece Police Chief Merritt Rahn’s trial.
Parrinello has been practicing law in the Rochester community for more than 30 years. In 1968, he joined Redmond & Parrinello and is currently a partner at the firm. He was also a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps.
In 2004 Parrinello received the Ronald Reagan Republican Gold Medal. He has served on the Monroe County Bar Association’s Judiciary Committee; on the Rochester City Council from 1970 to 1974; and is a past chairman of the board of trustees at MCC.