Nine Williams students under the age of 21 will be summonsed to show cause hearings on a date to be determined after being found in possession of alcohol by Williamstown police officers last Saturday between 9 and 10 p.m.
The students were outdoors in an area known as Stone Hill, which is located behind the Clark Art Institute. Police responded to complaints from the surrounding neighborhood reporting suspicious activity in the woods off of South Street.
According to a Williamstown Police Department press release, “Occupants of the neighborhood reported they had observed people walking into the woods and heard loud voices and music.”
One student involved explained that the group was having a bonfire and “[the police] came up and nobody noticed them until they were right there. So there was nothing we could do.”
The press release went on to state that “the students were cooperative with officers and the alcohol illegally possessed was seized by officers and brought to the Williamstown police station where it will be held until the case is disposed of.” A tenth student was not seen violating any laws and will not be charged at the summons.
A summons is a legal document that notifies a party that a lawsuit has been initiated and states when and where the party must appear to answer the charges.
In addition to the students who received summonses, three entries were up on Stone Hill, none of which brought alcohol.
By the time the police arrived two of the entry groups had already gone home, but the third entry group was still present.
According to a Junior Advisor (JA) who was present but wishes to remain anonymous, the police searched the entry members’ belongings for alcohol, but did not find anything. “They were looking in our cups and smelling our apple cider, and they warned us that if we had any alcohol, we’d be going to jail,” the JA said. “We reassured them that we did not have anything.”
The JA said that once the entry was cleared, an officer told them, “Well, I guess you’re a lot smarter than that other group that [they] caught. They’re going to be going to jail.”
The officers also told the entry that, “‘the Clark doesn’t like you guys up here,’ but they didn’t tell us to leave or anything,” the JA said.
The investigation was conducted by Williamstown police officers Jason Wood and David Lemieux.