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Arlington police to seek charges for drinking party at former selectwoman's home

Posted by Brock Parker  October 22, 2012 11:40 AM

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Arlington police said they will be seeking charges in connection to a party at former Selectwoman Annie LaCourt’s home Friday night in which 21 underage people were allegedly drinking alcohol.

Arlington Police Captain Richard Flynn said the department will be filing criminal complaints in Cambridge District Court seeking that LaCourt and her husband Mark Burstein each be charged with 33 counts of furnishing alcohol to a person under 21 and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Flynn said he expects the paperwork for the criminal complaints to be filed at the district court, which is located in Medford, on Tuesday morning. A magistrate will then determine whether there is probable cause to charge the couple.

Police said a total of 33 underage people were at LaCourt’s home at 48 Chatham St. Friday night around 10 p.m. Police said 21 one of the underage people had been drinking, including one who was “fall-down drunk,” according to Flynn.

LaCourt and Burstein, were home and knew about the party, Flynn said.
Police discovered a similar party at the couple’s home in June of 2009, but not to the extent of Friday’s party and no charges were filed, Flynn said.

Charges will be sought for the party Friday night, because police said LaCourt and Burstein allowed people under the age of 21 access to alcoholic beverages in violation of state law.

Flynn said the underage people discovered to be drinking at the party will face criminal charges or will be offered the chance to participate in a juvenile diversion program for first time offenders to avoid being charged with under age drinking.

LaCourt declined to comment to a reporter Monday when reached by phone. She served 7 years on the Board of Selectmen before deciding not to seek re-election in the spring.

Flynn said Arlington Police had officers out Friday night working to stop underage drinking. An Arlington High School football game where police were going to be working was rained out, and police ended up spotting a group of underage people walking out of LaCourt’s home carrying red plastic cups. The group walked to the playground at the nearby Stratton School, and police then discovered everyone in the group was intoxicated, Flynn said.

When police went to LaCourt’s home they found more underage people who had been drinking and Flynn said police gained control of the home and brought all of the kids outside. Police administered breathalyzer tests for all of the kids, and found that 21 had alcohol in their system. Police called in a Fire and Rescue unit to evaluate one person who was drunk, and police called the parents of kids to come and pick them up.

“That was job one, to make sure that the kids got home safe and sound,” Flynn said.

Flynn said police do not know who provided the alcohol. He said none of the kids admitted to bringing beer to the home.

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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