Sixteen minors are facing underage drinking charges and a Hingham homeowner is facing charges of violating the state’s Social Host Law following a rowdy house party Saturday night, said Hingham Police Department spokesman Sergeant Steve Dearth.
The homeowner, William Hacking, 51, faces a criminal complaint at Hingham District Court. If found guilty of violating the Social Host Law, Hacking could be fined up to $2,000 and could face up to a year in prison.
Just before midnight Saturday, officers responded to a complaint of a loud house party on East Street. The first officer to arrive noted roughly seven cars in the road, loud noises coming from the yard, and people who appeared to be under 21 drinking alcohol, followed by people yelling “the police are here.”
When the officer stepped out of his cruiser, “he was immediately almost struck by a glass beer bottle,” Dearth said in a statement.
The bottle missed the officer and shattered at his feet on the pavement. The officer got back into his car and was requesting backup when a second bottle shattered on the pavement in front of his bumper.
Additional officers from the Hingham and Cohasset departments arrived and officers saw several people running into the woods, leaving behind plastic cups, open beer cans, and shattered beer bottles, Dearth said.
Others ran to a barn, where they were found among open and unopened beer cans, a Ping-Pong table with spilled beer, plastic cups, and empty cans, according to police.
“Each of these youths had red and glassy eyes, slurred speech, and had the odor of an alcoholic beverage on the breath,” Dearth said.
The 16 minors, between 17 and 20 years old, and a Hull 21-year-old, also face charges of disturbing the peace. All are scheduled to be arraigned at Hingham District Court Tuesday.
After the minors were placed in the Weymouth police prisoner transport van Saturday, officers who returned to the barn found Hacking cleaning up the discarded cans and cups. He had been home at the time of the party, Dearth said.
When speaking with the officers, Hacking appeared to be under the influence of alcohol; he was unsteady on his feet, had slow and slurred speech, and smelled heavily of alcohol, police said.
Officers told him several times what had happened and Hacking “continued to ask ‘What was going on?’ ”
Hacking reportedly told police he asked the group when the party was going to end. He said the event was a birthday party for his daughter’s friend.