June 19, 2018
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Police break up gravel pit party

By Sharon Kiley Mack, BDN Staff

MACHIAS, Maine — Several deputies from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department converged Saturday night on a remote gravel pit in Big Lake Township, where about 100 people had gathered around a bonfire. With rocks being thrown at them and fires being set in the surrounding woods, they ended up issuing more than 35 summonses.

It is believed the partygoers were celebrating the Woodland High School prom, Sheriff Donnie Smith said Monday.

Following up on a tip received Saturday, the deputies went to the gravel pit off the Stud Mill Road, and when they arrived, about half of the people fled into nearby woods, Smith said.

The deputies found evidence of drinking and believed many of those attending to be under 21, Smith said in a prepared statement.

The deputies worked to identify which people were juveniles, under 18 years of age; minors, between 18 and 20; and adults, 21 or older; Smith said, and then began to process the violations.

While the deputies were attempting to sort out the violations, Smith said, partygoers were throwing rocks at the deputies and setting fires in the nearby woods. No deputies were struck, but a cruiser was hit.

More than 35 summonses were issued for alcohol violations, drug possession and littering.

Smith said the pit is not an authorized camping site and that all of the partygoers are considered to have been trespassing, but no summons were issued for that violation. Five vehicles were towed from the scene at the owners’ expense.

Maine Forest Service Rangers Jeff Currier and Courtney Hammond extinguished the fires, Smith said.

Lt. Travis J. Willey, who is in charge of the investigation, said Monday evening that no adults were charged at the party. The summonses all went to juveniles and minors.

Smith said anyone with information on an underage drinking party is encouraged to call 800-432-7303 and may remain anonymous.

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