Police says Pelham woman will face charge for graduation party
PELHAM — Criminal charges are expected to be filed this week against a Pelham parent who hosted a graduation party over the weekend that allegedly included underage drinking.
Pelham police Sgt. Anne Perriello said the incident at 3 Monument Hill Road is still under investigation. However, Perriello said the homeowner, 47-year-old Sandra Whiting, will face criminal charges at some point this week.
Around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, police received a call from a parent who told the dispatcher that he had picked up his son from an underage drinking party at the Monument Hill Road address.
That parent told police that he tracked his son down to the home, and when he arrived, he saw between 40 and 50 young people under the age of 21 drinking.
As that parent waited for the police, he stopped several minors who were driving away from the house, said Lt. Gary Fisher.
When police arrived, the parent told officers he went to the door to pick up his son and was invited inside by Whiting, the owner of the house.
“The parent would not go in and exchanged words with Whiting over what was taking place at the house,” according to Fisher.
Officers also spoke to the father’s 18-year-old son, who confirmed there was underage drinking taking place at the graduation party and that there were at least 40 minors drinking inside the house.
At this point, said Fisher, Windham police were called in to assist. As officers approached the house, Fisher said Whiting would not let them enter.
Police then set up a perimeter around the house and made a number of announcements for the minors to voluntarily exit. Officers also called in the license plates of the cars lining the road and dispatch was then able to notify a number of parents about the party.
With the help of the parents, police released about 35 underage minors to responsible parents or adults.
By 4:20 a.m. on Sunday, a search warrant was completed and police were able to enter the house.
Once inside, police found four minors sleeping in the attic and three more sleeping in the living room. These minors were also released to adults.
“The majority of the alcohol appeared to have been thrown out, and there were approximately five large bags of empty alcohol bottles and cans that were hidden in the basement,” said Fisher. “Officers also located a funnel, a marijuana grinder, a glass bong, and a marijuana joint.”