EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 23, 2013

North Andover teen was issued summons after Boxford party

Lawyer warns of lawsuit against school district 'and those who lied'

NORTH ANDOVER — North Andover High School senior Erin Cox was issued a summons for underage possession of alcohol when police broke up a Boxford party last month, although a police officer said she did not appear intoxicated.

In a lawsuit Cox and her mother filed earlier this month, they wrote that Boxford Patrolman Brian Neeley said “everyone at the party” was receiving a summons for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

That included Cox, 17, who said she was sober but went to the party to pick up a drunken friend. When her story went viral, she was celebrated as a national model for teens doing the right thing when confronted with drinking.

Cox, former captain of the varsity volleyball team, was demoted and suspended from playing five games after she said she picked up a friend at the Sept. 28 party, held at the 732 Main St. home of Dr. Bart Blaeser.

Officers from Boxford and three other communities were called to break up the party that night, according to a police report.

Neeley later wrote an email to Cox’s attorney and a North Andover school official saying, “Erin did not have the slightest odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from her person.

“She was polite, articulate, steady on her feet, and very remorseful for her decision to go to the residence but was only helping out a friend that had called her for a ride,” wrote Neeley in the email.

Boxford Police Chief Michael Murphy said he was aware Neeley wrote the email regarding Cox, but declined further comment because the case involves a juvenile.

Since her story went national, some have used Facebook and other social media to question whether it was the full truth. She and her mother have declined repeated requests for an interview.

Yesterday, her attorney, Wendy Murphy of Boston, issued a statement saying Cox “had not been drinking, had no intention of drinking and was at the party to help a friend.”

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