Roving pack of young teens diverts flood response
Hartford and Lebanon Police break away from flood to handle kids
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - Extra police were kept on duty Saturday night as the Ottauquechee River crested over its banks and threatened to inundate cars parked behind the Simon Pearce and Parker House restaurants in Quechee with waist-deep water; however, right as that was being sorted out several officers had to respond back to White River Junction to deal with a pack of 12-to-14 year olds.
The initial report from a passerby was of a half-dozen people involved in a physical fight in the parking lot of the People's United Bank on Maple Street but when officers from Hartford and neighboring Lebanon arrived shortly before 10 p.m. they found a "hysterical" girl in a car who was hyperventilating and screaming about harming herself along with several other youths scattered around the neighborhood who police had to chase down on foot.
After a Hartford Ambulance responded and cleared the girl to be released to a parent, officers screened eight youths, several of whom admitted to having had shots of alcohol and smoking marijuana earlier in the evening, police said.
Hartford Officer Fred Peyton said that the group was from Windsor as well as Plainfield and Enfield, New Hampshire and had apparently "pulled the old `I'm staying at a friend's house' trick," before ending up at a completely different residence with a different friend in White River Junction. Peyton said that endeavor fell apart around 6:30 p.m. when a parent at the White River residence discovered the group and kicked them out.
"They've basically been wandering around the downtown since that time," Peyton explained, saying that even while the rest of the town was dealing with a serious flood emergency that broke up roads and undermined several buildings and a trailer home nearby, the group had apparently fallen in with a "recent Hartford high school graduate" and allegedly been enticed into drinking and smoking dope with them during the course of Saturday evening.
"We know who this person is and we are going to be looking for them next," Peyton noted.
The teens and pre-teens were given civil marijuana tickets and police spent the next hour making arrangements to have their parents come pick them up.
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