Underage drinking party results in two arrests in Darien
Update: According to court documents, the case against Nicholas Branca was dismissed.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, just before midnight, Darien officers responded to a Half Mile Road address based on a third party 911 call that a minor female had fallen down a flight of stairs and had suffered a head injury.
Upon arrival, officers made contact with a woman identifying herself as the nanny, Deborah Hope. While speaking with Hope, officers said they overheard a male voice yelling that everyone should run and that the police had arrived.
Officers were directed to the female in question, who was located next to a pool house in the rear of the residence. A man, who police said was later identified as Nicholas Branca, 18, appeared to be tending to the female. Police said Branca identified himself as a member of EMS, but was not in uniform. Officers asked where the female had fallen and learned that the fall had taken place inside the home. Post 53 was called, responded, and treated the female.
The female was transported to Stamford hospital for further evaluation. When asked, police said Branca said he hadn’t witnessed the female fall, only found her at the bottom of the stairs, laying on the floor. Darien police said Branca stated he then assisted her up the stairs and to the pool house. Officers inspected the stairway in question, which lead to the residence’s basement.
The basement allegedly revealed signs that alcohol consumption had taken place. Also found, according to police, was a note indicating that the nanny, Hope, was aware that a party was taking place at which minors would be consuming alcohol.
Branca was questioned about the evening, and police said he indicated he and some friends had come to the house after a sporting event for a party. Darien Police said he stated that he didn’t witness the female fall, only saw her on the floor.
When questioned, Branca allegedly gave conflicting accounts of the reason the victim was moved from the location of the fall. Officers said they determined that Branca had not witnessed the fall and allegedly had no medically valid reason for moving the patient. The move placed the patient at risk offurther injury, police said.
This caused the officers to believe that Branca acted recklessly by moving the patient, police said. Based on the above, both Branca and Hope were placed under arrest. Branca was charged with reckless endangerment. Hope was charged with providing alcohol to minors.
Branca was released on a $2,000 bond and is due in court on Feb. 26.
Hope was released on a $5,000 bond and is due in court on February 26.
This incident remains under investigation, as such, no further information will be released.