A Moose Hill Road woman was arrested for hosting an underage drinking party that included several vodka bottles, as well as marijuana and other narcotic substances, at her home Saturday, May 7.
Police said Kimberly Atherton, 53, had at least a dozen teens inside her home when they responded to the scene and that she was visibly intoxicated when she opened the door.
According to a report, a neighbor called police after a vehicle leaving the party had driven over his lawn. The complainant also told police that the party was “out of control” and very loud.
In addition to having slurred speech, the report said, Atherton smelled of marijuana. Police told her to sit down outside the home as they went inside.
According to police, Trumbull officers entered the home, causing numerous teens to flee the scene on foot.
In the home’s basement, police found a beer pong table, empty beer cans and vodka bottles.
As they searched, officers detected a strong odor of marijuana and found several empty bags that had marijuana residue in them.
The report added that three youths did not flee and were found inside the house — one of whom was Atherton’s 18-year-old daughter, who was not charged.
Police said they did not know exactly how many kids had attended the party but that they were aware of a social media post advertising “a small gathering for just friends.”
The report stated that one father was trying to pick up his 15-year-old daughter from the party as police arrived.
The girl exited the home was visibly intoxicated, police said.
After vomiting on the front steps of the home, she told police she had consumed vodka, muscle relaxers, marijuana, and codeine at the party.
Police said EMS arrived on the scene and transported the girl to St. Vincent’s Medical Center.
The report added that no other partygoers needed medical attention on the scene.
Atherton was released on a promise to appear in court.
The incident sparked outrage on Facebook, where more than 65 users had made comments about what had happened at the home Saturday night.
The suggestions on the Facebook page Keep Trumbull Real ranged from educating kids on the repercussions of their actions to sentencing the mother with “a financially burdensome” fine.
“When are people going to learn? It’s not just your own kids you’re responsible for, but if you have your kids’ friends at your home. You are responsible for them. We need to be parents to our kids, not their best friend,” posted Diane Severino Monday afternoon. “With everything we see on the news or read in the paper, parents should be protecting their kids, not harming them or others with the bad choices they make.”
Theresa Doonan, founder of HeroinKillsCT, voiced outrage that Atherton was released on the scene and not taken to police headquarters.
“They should have kept her in a cell until she got before the judge,” she said.
“I think the mother should have to do community service — at the morgue transporting the bodies of young people dead from drugs/alcohol,” she added in a later post.
Shirley Coddington Bonazzo used the situation to highlight a problem going on at Trumbull High School.
“My daughter won’t use the bathrooms all day at school because of the drug and drinking situation,” she wrote. “I do believe it’s everywhere but our responsibility as a parent is to not allow it.”
Melissa McGarry, project director of the Trumbull Partnership Against Underage Drinking & Drugs (TPAUD), commented that this case shows the risks of hosting kids.
“You assume the responsibility for what happens on your property,” she said. “Things can get out of hand quickly with potentially tragic results.”