Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Comcast Center crackdown
Comcast Center crackdown
Police target underage drinking by arresting hundreds at concerts this year
By Brittney Murray
With a Styrofoam cup from Dunkin’ Donuts covering its contents, the police would never know there was wine instead of an iced coffee inside.
Or would they?
On the way to Wednesday’s Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd concert at the Comcast Center, Alicia, 18, stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts to buy the cup – without coffee – for 26 cents.
“It’s worth it,” said Alicia, who didn’t want her last name used. But an hour and half after arriving at the Comcast parking lots, Alicia and her 20 or so friends were being questioned by a Mansfield police officer.
“Is there alcohol in the vehicle?” asked the officer, glancing into the minivan the group was clustered around.
The wide-eyed group of teenagers set their Dunkin’ Donuts cups on the tailgate and stepped away.
“That’s vodka,” said the officer, after opening up a Poland Spring water bottle and smelling its contents.
The skies darkened and a light rain fell while Mansfield police and members of the Comcast private security force, Aegis, patrolled the parking lots, looking for underage drinkers and intoxicated concert-goers.
While patrolling, security collects the confiscated containers and puts them in gray bins on the back of golf carts. The containers are then taken to a large metal trash compactor nearby and destroyed.
“We take everything,” said Sgt. Sam Thompson of the Mansfield Police Department.
Mansfield police have cracked down on underage drinking this year, arresting up to 100 people at some concerts, but even that hasn’t always been a deterrent.
“I’ve drank here for the past three years,” said Quincy resident Steve Likas, 21. “You’d see them coming and just walk to the next aisle.”
At Wednesday’s concert, police officers on bicycles stopped to check Likas’ identification as well as that of his friend, Matt Fasoli, 21.
“I’m actually 21, believe it or not,” said Fasoli. “I know I don’t look it, but I am.”
Officers checked their IDs before thanking them and pedaling off.
Alcohol-related arrests for the concert venue have been on the rise. In May, police arrested 35 people, including some as young as 16, at the KISS 108 concert, which Thompson said is mainly attended by parents and their children. Fifty-eight people were arrested at the Summer Jam Festival in June.
“To me, that’s not a sign of a problem,” said Bruce Montgomery, general manager of the Comcast Center, about the number of arrests. “To me, that’s the sign of a solution. We’re getting them here at the entrance and out in the parking lot.”
“More often than not they’re spread so thin,” said Mothers Against Drunk Driving spokesman David DeIuliis. “Ultimately this is an adult problem. In every underage drinking episode, someone got the alcohol from an adult.”
- Patriot Ledger
This doesn't even report the fact that they bust everyones balls. The only time I have not had a problem at the Comcast center was at last years Buffet concert. The cops are such dicks. They stop you from playing drinking games, they give you the evil eye, I mean for fuck sakes I am 31...