Police make arrests at house parties

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SHAFTSBURY -- Police busted two separate house parties Friday night where youths had been drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and "snorting regulated drugs," police said.

Police arrested a 38-year-old homeowner in Sunderland, and a 17-year-old male at a Shaftsbury home less than 10 miles away, both of whom are being charged with providing alcohol to minors and drug possession.

State police and the Bennington County Sheriff's Department responded to the first call of a possible underage drinking party at 507 Bacon Hollow Road in Sunderland where they found the homeowner, Allyson Hoffman, as well as numerous minors, under the influence of alcohol, according to a press release from State Police.

Police said 15 to 20 minors were issued diversion papers or citations for alcohol possession depending on their histories, and others fled the home before they could be stopped.

One minor female had to be brought to Arlington Rescue due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed, police said.

Police said Hoffman was cooperative and let police inside where "numerous open alcohol containers were located, along with several more minors who had been consuming alcohol and/or smoking marijuana," the release states. Police found some of the minors hiding in various locations throughout the house, police said.

Police also found marijuana and other drugs, including powders believed to be cocaine and crushed prescription drugs.

While investigating the incident, police were contacted about a suspicious or injured male on Granger Hollow Road in Shaftsbury.

Deputies from the Bennington County Sheriff's Department and officers from Bennington first responded to the call, with State Police coming later, and found the male was an intoxicated minor who told police he had been assaulted at a nearby party.

Police responded to 1284 Granger Hollow Road, where the minor said he was assaulted, and found minors who had been drinking, smoking marijuana and snorting drugs, police said.

Police found minors in the process of "snorting regulated drugs" when they arrived, as well as minors under the influence inside parked vehicles at the residence. One vehicle operated by a suspected impaired driver had left the residence before police arrived, police said.

Kyle Ware, 17, who lives at the residence, met police at the door but refused to let them inside the residence initially until a warrant was obtained.

Inside, police found several minors who had been drinking and smoking marijuana as well as alcohol containers, marijuana paraphernalia and a small amount of marijuana.

Police said 10 to 12 minors at the location were issued citations or diversion paperwork. Police are still investigating the alleged assault, which police said likely did occur at the residence.

The busts bring the number of large underage drinking parties in Bennington County broken up by police to six in the last two months.

Previous incidents that resulted in numerous underage citations include a party near White Oaks Road in Pownal where more than 25 individuals were cited in mid-July. Two days earlier, several minors were issued diversion papers when police broke up a party near the Dorset Bat Caves. In that incident, one 17-year-old male was arrested for allegedly throwing a large rock through the windshield of a police cruiser.

In the first week of July, police issued approximately 30 diversion citations at a party in Stamford. A few weeks earlier, 25 minors were cited and nine others were arrested after police raided a party off Rocky Lane in East Dorset.

Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at draspuzzi@benningtonbanner.com


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