Anonymous underage drinking party tip leads to mother, daughter arrest by Darien Police Sunday
A mother and daughter were arrested by Darien Police Sunday night after officers followed up on an anonymous tip that an underage drinking party was occurring.
Upon arrival to the Goodwives River Road residence, Darien Police found 13 girls between the ages of 17 and 19, they said. Police said resident Alexandra Barnard, who turned 19 Sunday, initially told police that she had provided the alcoholic beverages to the others, but then retracted the statement and said that the guests had actually brought it themselves. Several text messages were voluntarily shown to on-scene officers from guests supporting the fact that alcohol was brought to the home by some of the underage girls, Darien Police said. One guest showed officers a text message from Barnard saying that her mother, Lendy Donnelly, 49, was “okay” with the party. Donnelly denied any knowledge of any underage drinking occurring and stated that did she not permit it, police said.
Darien Police said ample evidence of alcohol consumption was observed on scene including open bottles of wine and champagne. Numerous plastic cups and other glasses were observed as well, police said.
Darien Police said probable cause existed to charge Alexandra Barnard with permitting minors to possess alcohol (a misdemeanor) and Lendy Donnelly with failing to halt the possession of alcohol by minors (a misdemeanor). Both were issued summonses with a court date set for July 6 in Stamford Superior Court.
All underage subjects were turned over to a parent or other responsible adult.
Donnelly and Barnard are both represented by Stamford criminal defense lawyer Mark Sherman who expects the case to resolve quickly.
“We’re confident the court will make this a teaching moment rather than a punitive one. We believe the court will see these two women as hard-working, accomplished individuals who have made meaningful personal and professional contributions to the community," he told The Darien Times in an emailed statement.