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October 15, 2013

Police: Facebook bails out arrested partygoer

BEVERLY — The party was announced on Facebook, and by the time it was over, five people were arrested, with at least one taking the unprecedented step of pleading with friends for bail — via Facebook, police say.

Thus, David White, 19, becomes one of the first local people known to use social media to get out of jail.

Police described a raucous Saturday night gathering of 100 to 150 people, most under 21, at a Juniper Valley Court address in Beverly Farms. Beverly spokesman Mike Boccuzzi said “numerous bottles of liquor and cans of beer” and an “uncooperative crowd” forced officers to call for backup from state police, Wenham and Manchester police.

Arrested was the homeowner, Ronnie Alford, 42, with wife Kimberly Alford, 43, to be summonsed, both under the “social host” law, with Ronnie Alford also held over accusations of having a noisy and disorderly house and procuring alcohol for minors. Also charged were Briana Doody, 20, Manchester, drunken driving; Shawn Sequeira, 18, Lowell Street, Beverly, as a minor with alcohol; and White, of Lyman Street, Beverly, disturbing the peace. Also arrested was a 17-year juvenile on charges of disorderly conduct and having alcohol.

White asked police for permission to use Facebook to plead for help in getting bail after his phone calls yielded no response, police said.

“We have to grant one phone call,” detective Lt. Timothy Hegarty said.

That’s a problem right off for some young people, who no longer remember phone numbers, which are often stored electronically, he said. “They just look it up,” he said.

When in police custody, if they don’t have access to the number they want, it’s often the case that they must call a third party just to find out what it is. Sometimes, the person called doesn’t answer, he said.

“If they call mom and they can’t get her, we’re not going to say you can’t have another call. Not as long as they’re respectful and cooperative,” Hegarty said.

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