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Arlington police filed criminal complaints against a former Arlington selectwoman and her husband in connection with a party at their home in which town police found 33 individuals under the age of 21 involved in a housewide party that included loud music and alcohol.

Police Chief Fred Ryan said complaints were filed Tuesday, Oct. 23, against Annie LaCourt and Mark Burstein. A clerk magistrate's hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Cambridge District Court, has been continued to Nov. 14 at the request of the couple's attorney.

The attorney said he needed more time, a clerk's office employee said.

A magistrate is to determine whether there is probable cause to charge the couple.

In a news release on Monday, Oct. 22, police said criminal complaints were expected to be filed

The complaints cited are state laws governing the furnishing of alcohol to a person under 21 (33 counts each) and contributing to the delinquency of a minor (3 counts each).

Police said that about 10 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, members of the town’s Police Department discovered a party at the home of 48 Chatham St. After several children were witnessed outside of the home and on the grounds on the nearby Stratton School, officers found they were in possession of and under the influence of alcohol. After an interaction with the children the officers' attention was brought to 48 Chatham.

Inside the residence officers discovered 33 individuals under the age of 21 involved in a party that included loud music and alcohol. Officers quickly secured the scene and began the process of notifying parents and providing medical attention to those in need. Of the 33 children identified, 21 were found to have consumed alcohol in varying concentrations.

Also present in the residence at the time of the party were homeowners, LaCourt and Burstein.

After several hours all of the involved children were released safely to a parent or guardian. Those underage and found to have consumed alcohol will face criminal charges or be offered participation in the Juvenile Diversion Program, which allows children with no prior criminal record, who commit a minor offense, an opportunity to be diverted from the court system.

LaCourt and Burstein, who police said were in control of the house and were home at the time of police arrival, were determined to have knowledge of the presence of alcohol and allowed persons under the age of 21 to possess or have access to alcohol in their home.

The law states that "furnish" shall mean to knowingly or intentionally supply, give, provide to or allow to possess alcoholic beverages on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged (M.G.L. c. 138, s. 34).

Flynn told The Globe that 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 postponed because of rain  and police ­observed a group of underage people walking out of LaCourt’s home carrying red plastic cups. The group walked to the playground at Stratton, where police discovered that everyone in the group was intoxicated, Flynn told The Globe.

When police went to ­LaCourt’s home, they found more underage people who had been drinking, Flynn said, and brought them all outside.

Police administered Breathalyzer tests for all of the teen­agers. Police called in a fire and rescue unit to evaluate one person who was drunk, and they also called the parents of the teenagers to come and pick them up.

 

Case in 2009

In June 2009, a similar incident occurred at LaCourt's home. No charges were filed, and she was cleared the next month.

Police were called to the neighborhood in 2011, but no charges were filed after police talked with a group of teens at Arlington Recreation Center.

LaCourt, a selectwoman for seven years until last April and a Town Meeting member representing Precinct 15, has not responded to a request for comment.


This story was first reported at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, following an initial story published two days earlier. The later story was updated Oct. 23 and again Nov. 7.

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