For the past week and a half, East Greenwich’s Bob Houghtaling – director of the town’s drug program – has been fielding calls from teens and parents following a large underage party in North Kingstown. According to reports, nearly 100 teenagers from both North Kingstown and East Greenwich were partying at a home on Wilbert Way where youths were reportedly drinking alcohol. Several teens were allegedly drinking in such excess that two were brought to area hospitals. One teen was found unresponsive, though still breathing, and lying in vomit.
“There are so many scary things about this incident,” Houghtaling told the Providence Journal this week. Read the full story with Houghtaling’s interview here.
Jayne Donegan, 51, was arrested during the party under the state’s social host law. Donegan, a former member of the East Greenwich School Committee, was allegedly throwing the party for her 16-year-old daughter’s birthday. She was also charged with assaulting an officer and obstructing an officer in the execution of duty.
Houghtaling has met with more than 100 teens since the party and says the incident should serve as a “teachable moment.” Both police departments in North Kingstown and East Greenwich, along with each town’s respective substance abuse task forces, plan to coordinate and find ways to intervene and educate teens and their families on the matter.