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Middlebury Police Log: Web photos net underage drinking citations

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MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury police on May 14 issued court diversion paperwork to three juveniles whose Facebook accounts allegedly featured photos of themselves in possession of alcohol.

The three juveniles in question are Middlebury Union High School students, and all were caught based on tips provided by other MUHS students, according to police.

One of the students was allegedly featured in a photo holding a beer; another was shown holding a beer and a shot of tequila; and the other was shown holding a can of beer, according to police.

Addison County Deputy State’s Attorney Chris Perkett said the incriminating photos underscore a discomforting trend in the use of social media as a means of conveying inappropriate behavior, including cyber-bullying and underage drinking.

Perkett said he has not yet had to use Facebook material as evidence in a possession of malt beverage case.

“It does raise the interesting question of whether we can ‘go there,’” Perkett said on Monday. “I suspect we can.”

“If they are going to be that blatant (in advertising illegal behavior on Facebook), they deserve to be caught,” Perkett added.

In other action last week, Middlebury police:

•  Responded to a report of a hit-and-run accident involving a vehicle parked in the Valley View Road area on May 14.

•  Received a report of the theft of a wallet from an unlocked vehicle parked off Mill Street.

•  Responded to a report of a sick fox lurking in the Case Street area on May 14.

•  Responded to noise complaints in the Washington Street and Court Street neighborhoods on May 15.

•  Cited Daniel H. Alonso, 56, of Woodbridge, Conn., for driving under the influence, following a traffic stop at the intersection of South Main Street and Storrs Avenue on May 15. Police said they measured Alonso’s blood-alcohol level at 0.119 percent. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

•  Were informed on May 15 of the theft of some money from Middlebury College’s Ross dining hall.

•  Picked up a discarded syringe found at Otter View Park off Weybridge Street on May 16. Police have been investigating recent reports of drug activity at the park.

•  Received a report of a driver leaving the Middlebury Village Depot on Court Street without paying for $84 in gas on May 16.

•  Assisted a local women who reported receiving unwanted text messages on May 16.

•  Responded to a family dispute at a Fields Road home on May 17.

•  Cited Scott A. Castle, 40, of Shelburne for retail theft, following an alleged shoplifting incident at Hannaford Supermarket on Court Street on May 17.

•  Served a no-trespass order and open container warning on a Middlebury College student who allegedly created a disturbance at Two Brothers Tavern on Main Street on May 18.

•  Issued warnings to two people seen holding open containers of alcohol outside of Two Brothers Tavern on Main Street on May 18.

•  Issued court diversion paperwork to two youths for underage drinking following an incident on Main Street on May 18.

•  Interviewed an MUHS student who reported that some of her possessions had been stolen on May 18.

•  Served court diversion paperwork on a youth in the Shannon Street area who admitted drinking alcohol on May 19.

•  Responded to a report of a hit-and-run accident involving a vehicle parked in the Hannaford Supermarket parking lot on May 19.

•  Investigated a family dispute at a Foote Street residence on May 19.

•  Were informed that someone had stolen merchandise and money from a Hannaford Supermarket employee’s vehicle on May 19.

•  Warned two men against consuming alcohol while walking on Shannon Street on May 20.

•  Ticketed a young woman for being a minor in possession of alcohol on Shannon Street on May 20.

•  Investigated, with local emergency responders, reports of cries for help emanating from the west side of the Otter Creek, near Lucius Shaw Lane on May 20.

The Middlebury Fire Dept responded and authorities undertook a search of the area along east side of creek, which turned up no clues. The fire department launched a small boat to check the shoreline. Turns out that a 14-year-old had lodged his hand under a sewer cover in the area and had left with his family for Porter Hospital to be treated for his injury, according to police.

•  Were informed that a bike had been stolen from outside of a Seymour Street home on May 20.

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