BARRINGTON, R.I. (WPRI) – A homeowner is facing criminal charges after he was accused of having a large underage drinking party at his home with teens from all over the state.
Barrington Police told Eyewitness News that they have noticed a spike in underage drinking in the town this year, where teens have suffered alcohol poisoning at several parties.
According to Police Chief John LaCross, the incident happened on July 30 at a house on Bullock Avenue when a neighbor called and complained about a loud party that was taking place after 10 p.m.
A police report revealed that an officer saw teens leaving the party with beer and running from the yard. The homeowner was approached by police, when the officer said he yelled, "Oh God, the police are here! Everyone run!"
Bruce Becker was arrested and charged with violating Rhode Island's social host law.
According to police, Becker denied buying alcohol for his son's 18th birthday party, though a beer pong game was set up in the yard.
Kathleen Sullivan, the director of The BAY Team substance abuse prevention coalition, said the incident should remind adults that they cannot condone underage drinking.
"We're moving into compliance with this issue. It's been a long time since we've had a high profile tragedy in our community, fortunately, but the risks are still there and we cannot allow it to creep back into the community," she said.
Back in 2005 two Barrington teens, Zach Steiness and Michael Neubauer, lost their lives in a crash linked to alcohol. Just two years later, Barrington teen Jon Converse died in a crash on New Meadow Road.
Becker was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court on Wednesday.
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