Former NFL lineman Brian Holloway couldn’t believe what his son was showing him. Remorseless revelers were posting tweets and photos of themselves at an out-of-control party, trashing a home — Holloway's —which he thought was vacant.
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Holloway helplessly watched the scene unfold from Florida, where he lives. By the time police arrived at his property, thousands of miles away in upstate New York, there was more than $20,000 in damage.
They smashed 10 windows and glass doors, punched dozens of holes in walls sprayed with graffiti, and urinated on rugs and carpets.
“We were getting eyewitness reports of what was happening while it was happening," Holloway told the Associated Press. "We couldn't believe what was going down."
Now the former offensive lineman for the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Raiders is using those tweets as evidence to track down the alleged culprits, many of them underage teens who continued to tweet about the party even after cops chased the group away from the home.
TODAY's Carson Daly reported on the social media frenzy from the Orange Room.
“Busted or not, it was still the best party in the 518 of the summer,” tweeted one unrepentant partygoer, referring to the region’s area code.
Authorities did not make any arrests related to the Aug. 31 party but they are investigating the incident. They estimate about 200 to 400 people attended the party, word of which had quickly spread through social media.
Holloway, now a motivational speaker, easily gathered the names of about 200 of the suspected home invaders, based on their Twitter handles, and put them on a website he created, HelpMeSave300. While all of the information he collects also will go to authorities, Holloway said he wants to give the young suspects a chance at redemption. He hopes the individuals will step forward and accept responsibility for their behavior by showing up to help clean his home during a potluck picnic he is hosting this weekend for military serviceman.
"We need to get these young kids turned around," he said "We need to get them on the right track."
While investigators continue their probe, Twitter users have been doing some public shaming of their own, calling out the party revelers by their online names. Several of the teens have either deleted their posts or their accounts entirely.
"Shame on U & your so called friends," one Twitter user said about the revelers.