By Ben Fractenberg
GRAMERCY — The tragic death of incoming freshman Nicole John on Friday brought a grim start to the first day of school at the New School.
Yvonne Yeh, 19, said there was a “somber mood” all weekend in the dorms on East 15th Street where John, 17, had just moved in. The sophomore said freshman students appeared to be partying less than would be expected before classes start.
Seventeen-year-old John, the daughter of the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, was partying at Tenjune — a celebrity hot spot in the Meatpacking District — until 2 a.m. before heading to an after-hours party at a Herald Square apartment where she plummeted 22 stories to her death, police said.
U.S. Ambassador to Thailand Eric John and his wife Sophia spent an hour Monday clearing out their dead daughter's 15th Street apartment at the school's Stuyvesant Park Residence, the New York Post reported.
Nicole John's body was released to family representatives early Monday by the Riverdale Funeral Home in upper Manhattan, the paper reported. John's death was ruled an accident by the Medical Examiner's office. A toxicology report is expected to come back sometime next week.
Back on campus, some students had grown tired of all of the attention the tragedy brought to the school and were trying to move on.
One student said Monday she and her friends were trying to avoid reporters and just focus on school.
“People went on with their lives,” said the student, who wished to remain anonymous.
Another student said she and her fellow students were “annoyed” by the amount of attention John’s death was receiving.
Most students walked by reporters without speaking, some visibly upset after dealing with a full weekend of media attention.
Investigators had charged Ilan Nassimi, 25, Friday with serving alcohol to a minor Friday after he invited John and a group of friends back to his Herald Square apartment, the site of John's fall, in the wee hours of Friday morning.
As New School students rushed to class, trying to adjust to life in the big city, the city continued to investigate the circumstances surrounding John’s death.