EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 18, 2013

Four police departments broke up teen drinking party

By Paul Tennant

---- — BOXFORD — Officers from four communities were sent to break up the party from which Erin Cox, a North Andover High School volleyball star, drove an intoxicated friend home, according to a Boxford Police Department report.

Cox, 17, an NAHS senior, lost the captaincy of the volleyball team and was suspended for five games because of her presence at the party. Cox has said she was not drinking that night and that she went to the party after receiving a cellphone message from her friend asking her to come and get her.

She thought she was doing the right thing, Cox has said.

Superintendent Kevin Hutchinson said he and other school officials cannot comment on a particular student’s punishment.

People from around the country have expressed support for Cox.

The party in question happened at the 732 Main St. home of Dr. Bart Blaeser the night of Sept. 28. Police received a call from a resident who reported what appeared to be a teenage drinking party, according to a report filed by Lt. James Riter.

Riter, accompanied by Officers David Barker and Brian Neeley, saw a number of youths drinking beer near an open window on the second floor of a carriage house on the property, the lieutenant wrote.

Seeing the large number of youths drinking alcohol, Riter requested help from Georgetown, Haverhill and North Andover police. Neeley encountered a youth who was carrying a bottle of vodka.

A youth who was “extremely intoxicated” and “vomiting profusely” was taken to a hospital.

“There were beer cans and liquor bottles all around the room. The room smelled of burnt marijuana, alcoholic beverage, sweat and the general odor of filthy living conditions. There was a large trash barrel in the middle of the room half full of all types of alcoholic beverage containers. In the garage area there were more empty beer cans and a beer pong table,” Riter wrote in the report.

The police divided the young people into two groups, those 17 and younger and adults – those 18 and older. The adults were taken into custody and transported to the station while the juveniles were told to call their parents or other adults for rides home, according to Riter’s report.

All of the juveniles were picked up, he wrote. The names of the juveniles in the report were crossed out. The report does not mention Cox.

The Blaesers could not be reached last night. Cox’s mother, Eleanor Cox, declined to talk to a reporter Tuesday night. The report identifies “Mrs. Blaeser” as being in the main house on the property and not knowing that a party was taking place in the carriage house.