WEST BATH, Maine — An anonymous tip through a new program in the Sagadahoc County area resulted in an arrest and several summonses at an underage drinking party, according to Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Brett Strout.
Strout said police received information through a program called eTip on Friday at 12:38 a.m. about an ongoing party at a residence on Meetinghouse Lane in West Bath. Responding deputies arrived to find what Strout described as a sizeable gathering, including several people who were not of drinking age, and a large amount of alcohol. County deputies and an officer from Bath Police Department spent nearly four hours at the scene writing summonses and ensuring that the attendees had safe rides home.
A 16-year-old female who lives at the residence was summoned for furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol, Strout said. The girl’s father was not present at the location and her mother, who lives elsewhere, took her into custody.
“She had the party without either of the parents’ knowledge,” said Strout.
Zachary Chart, 18, of 73 Jordan Avenue in Brunswick, was the only person arrested in connection with the incident. Strout said he was arrested for disorderly conduct after he refused to identify himself and became aggressive and uncooperative. Chart was also summoned for possession of alcohol by a minor.
In addition, police issued summonses to Henry Conroy, 19, no address listed, for possession of a useable amount of marijuana; Matthew Chart, 20, of 73 Jordan Avenue in Brunswick, who is Zachary Chart’s brother, for possession of alcohol by a minor; Allen Moore, 19, of Reed Way in Brunswick, for possession of alcohol by a minor; Sophia Concolino, 19, no address listed, for possession of alcohol by a minor; and Sean Dunn, 20, of 28 Moody Road in Brunswick, for possession of alcohol by a minor.
Strout said there were several people at the party who were of legal drinking age, and added that police are investigating whether further summonses are appropriate.
Strout said this is the second time the eTip line has resulted in charges filed by the sheriff’s office, and other departments in the area have also benefitted. Law enforcement agencies in Sagadahoc County, Brunswick and Harpswell teamed up with Mid Coast Hospital’s Access Health & Substance Abuse Prevention program, along with a local coalition called Communities Against Substance abuse, earlier this year to launch the eTip program.
Funded by the Maine office of substance abuse, the eTip program is targeted at teens who wish to report illegal or unsafe situations anonymously through a website or a cellphone text message.
Users of the program can send a text that begins with the word “eTip” to 274637 (CRIMES) or download a free mobile phone application to iPhone or Android devices called “TipSubmit Mobile.” The service, which triggers an anonymous exchange between the tipster and a police dispatcher, is also available at www.MidCoastCASA.org. Tips are routed through a computer server in Canada, which ensures that even if they want to, police are unable to identify the tipster.
Strout said eTip is a valuable tool that he hopes continues to be used — especially as local students head back to school. In addition to crimes, users can use the service to report friends who may be battling with issues such as depression or addiction.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy for underage drinkers,” he said. “We’ve taken an active approach to addressing the issue, and eTip is part of that.”