By Alyse Knorr, Broadside Correspondent

Five Mason students were arrested on charges of being drunk in public last Thursday, one of whom also was charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer.

Biology major Phillip Sullivan, 21, was arrested in Parking Lot A on charges of being drunk in public, resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, according to police records.

He posted a $10,000 bond early Friday morning, according to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

“Our officers were on patrol and they approached him because he appeared to be intoxicated,” said Assistant Chief of University Police George Ginovsky.

“When they went to arrest him for being intoxicated in public, he resisted the arrest and in the process of the arrest he assaulted one of the officers,” said Ginovsky.

Ginovsky said the department had extra patrols out campus-wide because of Mason Day, including a special team called the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) team that consists of officers in plain clothes.

Ginovsky said that for special events such as Mason Day, Homecoming and certain concerts at the Patriot Center, the police team is split into several different teams that work together.

These include a patrol team that maintains law enforcement and response throughout campus, a venue team composed of officers assigned specifically to the event venue and an ABC team that concentrates on enforcement of drug and alcohol laws across campus.

In addition to the five drunk in public arrests on Thursday, one student was arrested for underage possession of alcohol; one for possession of marijuana; and one for possession of LSD, possession of marijuana and underage possession of alcohol.

“Since we have more officers looking for violations, we’re going to have more arrests,” Ginovsky said. “I don’t think that means we have more or less underage drinking or drinking too much on those particular days.”

Ginovsky emphasized the department’s focus on drunk in public cases, which he said can become a public health and safety issue when an individual is so drunk, he or she might cause a problem or be unable to take care of him or herself.

“Underage drinking is one problem we experience, but the problem that’s a public safety [and] public health issue for us is not so much underage drinking — although that’s a factor — but people who are of age and drinking too much,” Ginovsky said.

“This is not enforcement for its own sake. It’s not a matter of making statistics or making arrests or issuing citations. The primary reason we’re doing this, the overriding reason we’re doing this, is for public safety — public health,” said Ginovsky.

Ginovsky said that characteristics such as staggering, slurred speech, incoherent speech and disorientation are all common to people who are drunk in public.

“When you say, ‘What’s your name?’ and they say, ‘Lawnmower,’ you know the guy’s probably drunk,” Ginovsky said.