Tuesday, June 18, 2013
By Gillian Graham firstname.lastname@example.org
A Falmouth couple have been charged with furnishing a place for minors to drink alcohol during a party last weekend that involved members of Falmouth's championship baseball and boys' lacrosse teams.
Falmouth police say Barry and Paula Spencer, the owners of this house at 35 Fieldstone Drive, have been charged with furnishing a place for minors to drink alcohol.
Photo by Gillian Graham/Staff Writer
Police say they got an anonymous tip at 10:30 p.m. Saturday that minors were drinking at a party at 35 Fieldstone Drive, said Lt. John Kilbride. Officers found a party with 75 to 100 high school students and 35 to 40 cars.
Falmouth High School had won Class B state championships in baseball and lacrosse earlier Saturday – the day after school ended for the year.
An owner of the property, Barry Spencer, told police there was no drinking or drugs, and the officers left, Kilbride said.
An hour later, officers stopped a car with an expired registration, Kilbride said. The driver was sober but some of the car's occupants said they had been drinking at the home on Fieldstone Drive.
Four officers went to the home and found that students had been drinking and smoking marijuana. Several ran or climbed into cars and tried to leave, Kilbride said.
The home's owners, Barry and Paula Spencer, are scheduled to appear in court Aug. 16. A woman who answered the phone at the house Tuesday evening said neither wanted to comment.
The Class D offense carries a minimum fine of $1,000.
A 17-year-old girl was charged with administrative drunken driving, meaning her blood alcohol content was less than 0.08 percent but because she is younger than 21 she is not allowed to drive with any alcohol in her system.
Two other teenagers were charged with possession of alcohol and another was charged with possession of marijuana. Three were charged with possession of alcohol by consumption, Kilbride said.
He said vomit on some of the cars that were parked at the home would have indicated to anyone that people were drinking. Police called rescue personnel to treat one youth passed out on a neighbor's lawn.
"It was members of the baseball and lacrosse teams," Kilbride said. "I don't know if it was the whole team."
Falmouth High School Principal Gregg Palmer said Tuesday that school officials do not know which students were involved because the names of the juveniles weren't released by police.
Even if school officials did know who was involved, the students would not be subject to punishment by the school because the party occurred outside of the sports season, Palmer said.
Student-athletes sign a code of conduct that says they will be suspended from play for as long as 60 days if they are caught with alcohol or drugs. They also must meet with substance abuse counselors.
There were no violations of the code of conduct during Falmouth High's spring sports season, Palmer said.
The principal will send a letter to members of the baseball and boys' lacrosse teams and their parents, giving them an opportunity to talk about the incident and access school resources. He said he is sending the letters because of rumors in town that those players were at the party.
Palmer said the incident will start a conversation within the school about making sure students have access to safe celebrations after future championships. Other communities organize chemical-free celebrations, he said.
It's unfortunate that the incident is likely to cast a shadow over the championships, Palmer said, particularly for athletes who weren't at the party.
"There's no question that people are going to look at this story and they're going to look at our athletic programs and draw conclusions based on one event," he said.
Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at: email@example.com
Staff Writer David can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: firstname.lastname@example.org