Two QU freshmen arrested on drug-related charges

By on January 25, 2010

Two Quinnipiac University students were arrested early Saturday morning after marijuana and cocaine were found in their rooms.

Mathew Scherl and Bradley Burkhard were arrested after police responded to a call at 3 a.m. on Saturday.  Police found 52 grams of marijuana, 0.7 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and $680 in their room, according to Hamden Police.

Scherl, 18, was charged with sale of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of narcotics and possession of drug paraphernalia.  Scherl is being held on $25,000 bond. Scherl posted bail and attended class on Monday.

Burkhard, 20, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and was released.

Campus security originally went to the suite in the Perlroth dormitory in response to a noise complaint, according to the police report.

Both are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 12 in Meriden.  The University does not have a comment on the fate of both students, according to John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations.

Below is the release from Hamden Police:

On January 23rd at approximately 3:00a.m. Hamden Police responded to Quinnipiac University, 275 Mt. Carmel Avenue on the report of a drug complaint.

Officers learned that Quinnipiac University Security responded to an on-campus dormitory on the complaint of a loud party. Security found a large quantity of marijuana, cocaine, drug paraphernalia and cash.

Hamden Police seized 52 grams of marijuana, .7 grams of cocaine, drug paraphernalia and $680.00.

Hamden Police arrested:

Matthew Scherl, 18, of Bayside Hills, New York. He was charged with Sale of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Narcotics and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Scherl, who was detained on a $25,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on February 12th.

Bradley Burkhard, 19, of Andover, Mass. He was charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Burkhard, who was released on a Written Promise to Appear, is scheduled to appear in court in Meriden on February 12th.

Officer Paul Calamita conducted the investigation.


About Andrew Vazzano

The general manager and publisher of The Quinnipiac Chronicle.


  1. qu student

    January 26, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    For the record…it’s Mathew, with one t. And Bradley Burkhard is 20, not 19. Before you write an article and publish it on a website that many people are going to see, you should probably get your facts straight. To be a real journalist, you’re information needs to be correct…looks like you won’t be very successful.

    • Andrew Vazzano

      January 26, 2010 at 4:44 pm

      QU Student:

      We have adjusted the story.

      The information we used was from the Hamden Police report.

      Thank you for the info.

    • Wow

      January 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      Informing the writer about an error is one thing, but attacking them is just unnecessary.

  2. qu student

    January 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    oh and Brad wasn’t arrest. good job!

  3. QU Parent

    January 27, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Hey QU student, it’s ‘arrestED’.
    Maybe you should pay more attention to the actual story about the incident and think about the ramifications of their actions on your campus, rather then try to edit the article..

  4. qu journalism student

    January 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    mr. vazzano,

    while it is appreciated that you went back and corrected your story for the print date, it is reprehensible that you had the audacity to publish something in a public forum with factual inaccuracies.

    by stating that brad burkhard was arrested, you are guilty defamation of character, which, as i’m sure you know as such a poised and distinguished journalist, is most harmful to your professional reputation.

    i would suggest, that it would be in your best interest to publish some sort of public apology for your lack of research and fact checking. your original article is, i’m sure, an embarrassment to whichever one of our professors taught you ethics.

    • Andrew Vazzano

      January 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      QU Journalism Student:

      According to the police report we, and many other outlets received, Bradley Burkhard was indeed arrested.

    • really?

      January 27, 2010 at 1:23 pm

      hey journalism student… could you define “arrested” for me? Because I’m pretty sure being put in cuffs by the police counts as arrested.

      • QU Grad

        January 27, 2010 at 4:10 pm

        Actually you can be given a promise to appear ticket which is called a paper arrest. You don’t have to be sent to jail and bailed out, but you are arrested. If you were ever asked if you were arrested the answer would be yes. Good job QU Chronicle for your reporting. Don’t let the misinformed get you down.

  5. WTF

    January 27, 2010 at 6:09 pm

    I understand that this is free information but it does not excuse you from having a heart. I do understand that these students were not following the university’s policies but don’t you think that being arrested is punishment enough? Everyone makes mistakes and I am positive that these students did not want all of their peers knowing about private information. I also understand that it is your job to report on this type of situation, however, you used names, residence halls, ages, hometowns, and you even took their facebook pictures. You surely did a thorough job with this one. How would you feel if it happened to you?
    I get it. But it isn’t right to expose someone’s private life. Even if it is free information. You have nerve.

    • SHUT UP

      January 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      Dear WTF,

      SHUT UP. These kind of situations appear in newspapers all the time. Both print and television journalism use Facebook to get pictures of the people they are reporting on and always publish facts like hometowns and ages. Nothing “Mr. Vazzano” did was unethical.

      And .07 grams of cocaine is a little more than a “mistake”. Law is law and journalism is journalism.

      Also, chill out, with, the commas.

      • WTF

        January 27, 2010 at 10:44 pm

        I didn’t use the word unethical. I understand that it’s free information and that it’s used all of the time. I am also not excusing those students from what they did. I’m simply saying that those students should be protected by our community. We should be offering support to our students who find themselves in these types of situations. They are still young and have lives ahead of them to make good choices. Why should they be condemned now?

        I bet you’re perfect, aren’t you?

        Take my grammar up with your 2nd grade english teacher. My comma use is fine. Unless you hate the oxford.

        • suckit

          January 27, 2010 at 10:53 pm

          i fully approve of your statement. These students shouldn’t be front page material for a campus newspaper. It provides humiliation for the kids along with all the other sort of punishment they are recieving from the school, police, and their families. Their lives as they know it are greatly affected, no need to put it on the first page.
          I, love, commas, , , , , , , , , , ,

  6. how could u embarrass these boys like this

    January 27, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    i know both of the freshman that were involved in the incident and they are both really good kids who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. i know them well enough to say that i know for a fact that neither of them are drug dealers nor are they a harm to quinnipiac university. it would be a shame to see these boys get leave the quinnipiac community because i know thats not the type of people they are and i know they learned their lesson.. i feel terrible for the fact that these boys are now “infamous” and are going to be looked at differently because this article officially made everyone know who they are. and by the way “SHUT UP” .07 grams of cocaine is nothing compared to the person selling that **** to our students . those are the real people hamden police and quinnipiac security should be worried about. if they think that these boys are the ones putting drugs into the school they are terribly mistaken and they should realize that this made absolutly no progress in taking drugs and drug dealers off of campus. its terrible to see that becuase of this minor incident their future could be in jeopordy.

    • yoey

      January 27, 2010 at 8:53 pm

      yeah…. 52 grams of pot and a bunch of money…

      they weren’t dealing? ahahha please. get a clue. They definitely weren’t in the wrong place at the wrong time. Grow up and understand that there are consequences for every action.

      I’m glad they got caught. The campus is better off.

      • qustudent

        January 27, 2010 at 9:27 pm

        You’re glad they got caught? How do you sleep with yourself at night? You have no idea the hell these kids are about to endure.

        Maybe it’s about time Quinnipiac starts HELPING students who end up in this situation by offering them some type of counseling, or out-patient rehabilitation.

        If they go to this school, Quinnipiac admissions at one time determined they were suitable potential members of the “community” they try so hard to protect.

        Are you protecting said community more by sending them away for a semester or two (in which case they’ll probably behave in the same exact manner when they left if they decide to come back), or trying to rehabilitate them into becoming productive members of this community?

        Of course everyone here is going to say they should be expelled and they’re drug dealers. Sometimes it really bothers me that while, yes, I’ve met wonderful people here, there are those who say they should be expelled and offered no help.

        It seems this campus has long forgotten about both innocent until proven guilty and that whole second chances thing.

        • Really?

          January 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm

          Quinnipiac is a college, not a rehab program. If the students didnt want this to happen, maybe they shouldn’t have been holding ILLEGAL drugs…and lets get real for a expect me to believe they had 600 dollars in cash and over 50 grams of pot…and WEREN’T DEALING…get your head out of the sand.

          • qustudent

            January 28, 2010 at 12:55 am

            All I said was that Quinnipiac claims to care about those in the community so much, why not try and help them?

            a) I never said Quinnipiac was a rehab program.
            b) I never said they weren’t dealing drugs.

            Thanks for trying though. Your attempts at literacy are adorable.

  7. SnowWhite

    January 27, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    I personally LOVE cocaine. I get really ****** nose bleeds everyday, but hey, there’s always repercussions to our actions. I’m most disappointed that these kids weren’t in possession of more cocaine, I mean what kinda ****** operation are they running….??


    January 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    No one here is arguing that these student didn’t do something wrong. THEY MESSED UP, yes. The point that is these students should not have been humiliated by being put on the front page of the Quinnipiac newspaper. They already have to deal with the police, the school, and their families, why humiliate them more by letting the whole student body know. As a student and close friend of the boys all I have been hearing around the campus is about how HORRIBLE these boys are when they are really nice guys who MESSED UP, and now they are known as the GROSS drug dealers.
    By the way the numbers are incorrect…good job

  9. Andrew Vazzano

    January 27, 2010 at 11:11 pm


    The release from the Hamden Police has been added to the end of the article.

  10. Unbelievable

    January 27, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Your integrity is appreciated. But you still have no heart.

  11. this is messed up

    January 27, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    okay… so i’m just going to put it all out there.


    not only is it completely absurd that when the president of our school is cutting programs left and right, and THIS is what people are putting on the front page of a COLLEGE newspaper, but YOU-FACTS-ARE-WRONG.

    the hamden police report, is wrong. i don’t care what you heard, or what you saw, the amounts of BOTH the cocaine and the weed are incorrect. clearly, your source just wasn’t reliable enough. not only that, but to post information like that… and by “like that” i mean FALSE… that’s something that in the legal world we call slander and hearsay.

    you have no idea what it was like to see the face of someone was just told that his future could be completely ruined because of a mistake. it was a mistake on his part, and it was a mistake on the school’s part for getting the information wrong.

    this was poor journalism, bottom line.

    oh, and by the way, way to pick a photo of brad that looks NOTHING like him anymore. a clear sign that you were just looking for a picture to make him out to be the character that you have now etched into all the minds of the students who now may never be lucky enough to get to meet him.

    way to go.

  12. MicrosoftWorks

    January 28, 2010 at 12:13 am

    52 ounces of weed, .07 grams of coke, paraphernalia and $680 is no mistake. These two kids clearly were asking for what they got. And news is news. Not every story is a happy ending story. I applaud the Chronicle on their coverage. I hope that the rest of the viewers understand that these kids will now get the help that they need, and that the Chronicle did an excellent job at providing unbiased views of the news.

    • this is messed up

      January 28, 2010 at 1:36 am

      help? the LAST thing these kids need is help. i guarantee you that their intelligence could dance circles around every single person who has given this article any sort of personal feedback.

      on top of their intelligence, is the size of both of their hearts. either one of these boys would do ANYTHING for ANYONE. so before you judge their characters based on this story, you may want to consider that you know nothing about brad or mathew. you should be embarrassed

      • qustudent

        January 28, 2010 at 10:08 am

        Smart people don’t need help? Haha.

        You’re naive. You sound like fun. Wanna go play in the snow outside?

  13. wrong is wrong

    January 28, 2010 at 9:46 am

    To all who challenge the ethics of this story,

    Character was not the subject of this story. Instead it was the criminal actions of members of the QU community. There was nothing unethical done by the Chronicle staff, the members of the QU community deserve to know the crimes being committed where they live. This is not high school, we are adults. This is a part of what journalists do…humility is only derived from guilty actions, and never from innocent ones.

    Now “qu journalism student”…I question how much of a jrn student you are since you don’t understand the basic definition of defamation. Chronicle reported facts derived from a POLICE REPORT, and for those who question the legitimacy of a police report you have no right to be in college.

    In the end you might be these kids friends, and upset their names are the subject of a news story, but if it wasn’t for their actions then the chronicle would have no reason to write a story. Acknowledge they did something horribly wrong. If it was pot then no it wouldn’t be a front page story, but when cocaine is on the table there is something serious going on. Instead of defending their names in public maybe you should have been better friends and helped them with their drug problem. There is no recreational lead way for cocaine, not on my campus.

    • bravo

      January 28, 2010 at 10:29 am

      i agree 100%. well said.

  14. lol

    January 28, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I can’t find the original article in QU Chronicle’s database (really?), but I don’t remember the public reaction to the last QU student drug bust being ANYTHING like the response these two are getting. Christopher Thompson & co had their room ransacked by security under extremely suspicious means, and nobody seemed to care at all about “protecting these boys from the community.”

    The fact of the matter is, these boys had just under two OUNCES of marijuana (if memory serves, twice what was found in Mountainview), and under an ounce of COCAINE, a drug with significantly harsher legal ramifications.

    Vazzano is no villain here, having a QU Chronicle article make a few mistakes that were actually made by the Hamden police report and then correcting those errors swiftly thereafter isn’t going to damage these boys’ reputations more than they already have. I agree that fact checking is an essential part of journalism, but I think you’re all trying too hard to discredit a student journalist instead of looking at the rest of the facts, which are indisputable.

    • Andrew Vazzano

      January 28, 2010 at 12:22 pm


      The Chronicle recently switched to a new Web site. We are in the process of organizing and uploading our archives. They will be up soon.

  15. another QU parent

    January 28, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    A few comments back “Wrong is wrong,” I believe you meant “humiliation” is derived from guilt, not “humility,” which just refers to being humble.

  16. qu student

    January 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    While it is not defamation of character to say their names and that they got arrested, if they should be acquitted or more likely complete Accelerated Rehabilitation (for first time offenders: if they complete a probation period charges are dropped), then its if they’ve never been arrested and the article must be taken off.

    • you must be a frosh

      January 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

      “the article must be taken off” ?

      are you serious?


      • qu student

        February 1, 2010 at 11:55 am

        well if they’re either found not guilty or the charges are dismissed, it would be wrong for their names to show this on a Google search.

  17. Jessica '10

    January 29, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    This is a well-written article that in no way attacks or defames the individuals.

    These students screwed up – we all do it. And when we screw up, do we expect to get coddled and soothed? No. This is a news item and no valid news source should ignore it because someone’s feelings might get hurt.

    I’m guessing that they are worried about a lot more than an article in the Chronicle… like their arrests, the $680 they just lost, their parents!

  18. a different QU student

    January 30, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    I’ve read countless posts where people stick up for these boys, but one stuck out in my mind, where they were referred to as “good kids”. While no, I have never met them, do “good kids” usually have 52 grams of marijuana, and .7 grams of cocaine, along with baggies, paraphernalia, and large quantities of cash? Even if the numbers are wrong, we know they were arrested, and are in a good amount of trouble because of a large quantity of weed, some coke, and paraphernalia.

    I think you are all looking to blame someone, whether it be these boys, the chronicle, or even andrew vazzano, who should be left out of this. All he is doing is his job, which is to publish news stories that students will read, hence the 35+ comments left so far.

    Good job andrew, good job chronicle, and to all those who defended the boys by calling them “good kids”, I’m not saying don’t defend them, just find a better approach to doing it, because that one just doesn’t make sense.

    • drugs

      January 31, 2010 at 2:27 pm


      • Jessica '10

        February 2, 2010 at 7:54 am

        Let me rephrase that for you: Everyone that does drugs takes a risk. A risk that they will get caught doing something illegal or a risk that they will hurt themselves. If you decide that the high is worth the risk, then that’s fine, but be willing to accept the consequences.

        I think people are actually doing these boys a disservice by defending them so obnoxiously. If the boys wanted to talk about it, they would. Otherwise, you are just embarassing them and drawing more attention than needs to be drawn.

        You are posting annonymously. You can hide behind them. But is that fair?

        • Perlroth Crew

          February 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm


          You’re right, everyone who does or takes drugs is taking a risk, the fact of the matter is, it’s none of YOUR business! You don’t know these kids so you can’t say anyone on this stupid forum is doing them a disservice, and i honestly don’t think anyone is doing it obnoxiously. Another thing, if you had any kind of head on your shoulders, you’d realize that it’s not the smartest thing to make public comments on your own court case without your lawyers approval. Lastly, I doubt these comments within this website is publicizing this BS any more then the countless articles and television reports. You’re hiding behind your asinine comments, is that fair??

          • Jessica '10

            February 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm

            1. It is my business when drugs are sold on this campus – when arrests are made. It is ALL of our business. This is our home.

            2. I do think that people are making obnoxious comments, but I will concede that people have different ideas of what is obnoxious and what is not.

            3. I maintain that people continuing to comment on this article are doing a disservice to those involved in the case. When people stop talking about news, it ceases to be news. I believe this whole chain of comments began when people complained that this was made into a news item.

            4. You make a good point – they cannot talk about it because of the legal ramifications.

            5. I don’t believe that I ever said they were publicizing it… they are just continuing to make it an issue when it doesn’t need to be.

            6. Not to toot my own horn, but a 3.97 GPA and an acceptance letter from a prestigious grad school tell me that I do actually havea head. Heads are generally located on shoulders.

            7 – and last. If I am hiding behind ‘asinine’ comments, so are you. I do believe that is the very nature of a public forum.

    • Perlroth Crew

      February 3, 2010 at 5:11 pm

      A different Qu Student,

      You start out your comment by saying you don’t know theese boys, so who are you to pass judgement on them and to define a “good kid”. The fact of the matter is these kids are NOT the only ones on campus doing these kind of things. Campus security, Hamden police, and the entire Qu Chronicle should be ashamed at the way this incident was handled. The publicity these boys are getting is more than unwarranted. They made a mistake, and their college career, reputation, and future are all compromised now. They are being punished enough without having to worry about pompous ass-holes like “A different Qu student” making ridiculous comments like the one I’m responding to. Bottom line, they messed up, and now have to deal with the repercussions, on their own, without the school newspaper having countless follow up stories and now creating a forum on the matter. Different Qu student, I can’t wait till your absurd views and reasonings bite you in the ass when you have children later on in life. Best of luck to Matt and Brad, 160 ALL DAY.

      • QU Junior

        February 4, 2010 at 2:01 am

        I agree with you in respect to not passsing judgment on these boys. I know some kids who are good kids but do drugs. Doing something illegal doesn’t make you a bad person. How many of you who are referring to these kids as bad have ever done anything illegal (which includes drinking underage). They’re illegal for a reason but it doesn’t make you a bad person for doing something illegal.

        As for the Chronicle not publishing the article and such, the students have the right to know what is going on with campus. When the students were arrested in the fall (for less amounts) i don’t recall hearing everyone saying this shouldn’t be published. It’s freedo of the press. Also, technically yes they were arrested. Whether it remains on their record or not, they were still arrested. Therefore, when they apply for jobs they are required to put that they were arrested.

        As for the “forum” look at any newspaper. They have the comment section online. Unfortunately, it’s part of the new technology age. You are demonstrating it by posting your response, and actually, potentially provoking others to post. Just as many others did (especially when putting that it shouldn’t be posted).

        Granted, they aren’t the only ones on campus who smoke (if they do) and they aren’t the only ones who deal (if they do) but regardless of the amounts they were caught redhanded. The Chronicle has done nothing wrong. They posted with the information they were given.

        As someone else said before doing things like this involves taking risks. Most times it may pay off, but there’s always the chance that you will get caught and that’s what happened here.

        • Perlroth Crew

          February 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm

          I agree 100% with what you’re saying. As for this whole forum thing, my suit mates and I are somewhat making a mockery of it. You bring up valid point, yes having these substances in your possession is always a risk, and it is a shame that they were caught, because despite what “A different Qu student” says they are good kids, and good kids do these types of things. I am in no way condemning Andrew for writing up this story. He is a journalist, he wants the hottest, most current articles to cover. I respect his drive, but did he really need to stick this on the front page? I don’t know, I guess that’s all a matter of opinion.

          • Jessica '10

            February 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm


            I agree with these last comments… the only thing I would add to it – and it’s not just to be pain – is that this is Quinnipiac. We don’t have a whole lot of news… I mean, look at the article about the leak in the Student Center. Did that really need an article? So, unfortunately for these boys, their story made the front page for lack of any other news.