Barrington resident charged with hosting underage drinking party
Barrington police arrested Bullock Avenue resident Bruce M. Becker on Tuesday night, July 30, after the 56-year-old man allegedly hosted a large underage drinking party at his home.
Police received a phone call from a neighbor at about 10 p.m. due to loud music coming from the property. The first officer to arrive on scene noticed some cars parked along the road near the home, and along the driveway. He then reportedly spotted three teenage boys walking toward his cruiser — two of the boys were carrying beer and dropped the cans when they saw the officer.
A few moments later, as the officer neared the home, he reportedly spotted Mr. Becker whom he recognized. The officer stated that Mr. Becker then ran toward the rear of the residence and shouted "Oh my God, the police are here! Everyone run!"
The officer followed Mr. Becker around the side of the home and saw a large group of individuals, many appearing to be underage, fleeing from the property into the surrounding woods. He also saw a table that served as a beer-pong game, DJ equipment on the deck of the home, and empty and full beer cans and other bottles of alcohol.
The officer eventually located Mr. Becker and spoke to him regarding the situation. The homeowner reportedly told the officer that he had no idea there was any alcohol at the party; he said he had purchased soda for his son's 18th birthday party.
Officers detained a handful of underage individuals inside Mr. Becker's home, and asked if they would submit to voluntary breathalyzer tests. The officer said Mr. Becker and his wife stood nearby and told the teenagers not to take the tests.
Police later released the teenagers to their parents — they also allowed one teen to stay at the home after a parent said that was OK. Officers charged Mr. Becker with purchase/procurement of alcohol for a minor. Police also charged one 16-year-old North Kingstown girl with possession of an alcoholic beverage after she was seen carrying a bottle of whipped cream vodka from the home.
Police said the teens at the party came from across Barrington and beyond, including some from Providence, Middletown, Westport, Mass., Warren and North Kingstown.
"Based on the facts we have right now, it is very disappointing to have any adult not be able to know there is an underage drinking party going on right in their own back yard," said Barrington Police Chief John LaCross. "Couple that with the fact that he yelled out that the police were there, and to run ... it's very disappointing."
Police estimate that approximately 30 individuals were at the party.