WATERVILLE -- Deputy Police Chief Joseph Massey said he will send undercover police officers to the Colby College campus to stem the surge of underage drinking after another alleged weekend of college boozing.
Massey said five Colby women, three of them members of the college's lacrosse team, were arrested and several others were issued summonses after parties Friday night and Saturday night. He said the numbers of hospital visits, arrests and summonses for illegal possession of alcohol by minors this school year has forced his hand.
"I will do some undercover operations on campus," Massey said Monday. "I think the level of underage drinking we're seeing since the beginning of the year warrants some undercover details."
Massey said plainclothes police officers will walk the Mayflower Hill campus and will sit in parked cars, watching the comings and goings of students at Colby. He said the officers also will try to blend in at house parties off campus where Colby students live and entertain.
"I'm going to get officers that blend in," he said. "I am concerned about the fact that someone is going to get hurt while intoxicated or overdose on alcohol. It hasn't gotten any better as the year has progressed."
Massey said a police visit to a off-campus residence at 16 Winter St. early Sunday morning resulted in the five arrests.
Those arrested included Elizabeth Kelsea Neville, 21, a senior from Duxbury, Mass; Tracy Anne Kolakowski, 21, a senior from Darien, Conn.; and Leah Farrell Weisberg, 21, a senior from Falmouth. All three women are on the Colby lacrosse team; Weisberg is a team captain.
Also arrested were Kathryn Jane Roberts, 21, a senior from Chatham, N.J., and Ashley Brooke Lamb, 21, a senior from Menlo Park, Calif.
All five women are charged with furnishing a place for minors to consume alcohol.
Massey said police were called to Winter Street initially for a loud-noise complaint. He said that when officers saw people jumping out of windows at the house, it triggered suspicion.
"They saw students jumping out side windows -- there were in fact three more students identified as underage; five were summonsed for illegal possession of alcohol by a minor," he said. "All five women who rented the apartment were physically arrested."
Massey said the weekend began with parties Friday night, one of them at The Heights, a Colby dormitory. The police call came in initially as an assault on a security guard, he said.
A guard apparently was pushed, but not injured, and no charges were brought.
Massey said a party was in progress at The Heights in a student activity center. When police arrived, Massey said, they found students outside the hall who were "stumbling" around, apparently intoxicated.
Officers went to the bar area of the party and found two adult students in charge of the alcohol, according to Massey.
Colby spokesman Stephen Collins said there was some confusion inside The Heights because other, unsanctioned parties apparently were being held at the same time as a senior/junior prom.
He said Colby officials do not mind the added police attention, even if it means sending in plain-clothes officers, but he stressed that some parties are for students over 21 and are legal.
"That's perfectly within the right of the police," Collins said of the added visits on campus. "We understand that the laws of the state of Maine and the city of Waterville apply on campus."
Collins said the party at The Heights was a legal, school-sanctioned event with Colby Director of Student Activities Kelly Wharton on duty that night. He said the party was not an open bar and the two hosts were checking identification.
He said the underage students who were summonsed were from the other parties.
"The junior/senior prom was all above-board and by the book," he said.
Massey said it is the drinkers who don't go by the book that he wants to get tough on this year.
"This weekend comes on the heels of 10 other students summonsed for alcohol violations in the last two weeks," he said. "Add this to the 35 students that we have summonsed or arrested since the beginning of school and you can see we've had 60 students who have been arrested or summonsed -- that's 60 that we know about."
He said those numbers indicate that it is not just one group of substance abusers on campus, but appears to be a bigger problem, campus-wide.
"I think it really shows the significance that alcohol has on college campuses," Massey said.
Doug Harlow -- 861-9244