Barrington man charged under social host law

Barrington police said Monday that they busted an underage drinking party at a home on Bullock Avenue and charged the 56-year-old homeowner, a doctor, under the state's social host law.

Officers said they received a complaint about loud noise in the area and that when they showed up at the house, some of the kids saw the police, dropped their beer cans, and took off.

Police said when homeowner Bruce Becker spotted them, he said, "Oh god, the police are here. Everyone run," and that he ran to the backyard. Investigators said about 30 kids started to run away, many jumping over a fence.

Police said they saw beer and hard alcohol and that a beer pong table was set up.

Police said Becker told them he was having a birthday party for his son, had bought soda, and didn't know there was alcohol. They also said he told some of the teens to refuse a breath test.

"Naturally, to see an adult there or hear that an adult might have said something is very troubling to us because we're trying to stop bad things from happening when kids drink alcohol," Police Chief John LaCross said.

Barrington had a number of high-profile underage drinking incidents and deaths going back a few years.

This alleged underage drinking party comes as a disappointment to prevention advocates.

"It's a stark reminder that we do need to remind people that underage drinking is a risky behavior and remind adults in the community that they cannot condone this behavior or allow it," said Kathleen Sullivan, a prevention advocate. "I think some of the behavior is creeping back into the community."

Police say there were teens from several other towns at the party. A 16-year-old girl from North Kingstown was arrested for possession of alcohol by a minor.

NBC 10 was unable to reach Becker for comment. He's due in court on Wednesday.