HINGHAM (CBS) – Seventeen people charged in connection with a wild underage drinking party had their arraignment postponed in Hingham District Court Tuesday.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl  Stevens reports

The teens were ordered to appear in court after they were caught at a party at William Hacking’s home on East Street late Saturday night.

Police were called there to investigate a complaint about a loud house party.

The first officer to arrive said someone threw a beer bottle at him, nearly hitting him, so he called for help.

Police arrested seventeen kids from Hingham and Hull between the ages of 17 and 20. They were all charged with underage drinking.

But in court Tuesday, after the clerk called out each of their names in what appeared to be a public shaming of sorts, the judge ordered them to enter a diversion program, which involves community service and lessons about the effects and the dangers of underage drinking.

“It’s like having them take a bite out of the apple, without having to eat the whole apple,” said Hingham Police Sgt. Steve Dearth.

The teens will have to return to court June 20. At that time, if they have completed the program and stay out of trouble, the charges will be dropped and their names cleared.

Attorney Timothy Shyne represents two of the teens.  He told reporters – lesson learned.

“I know certainly the parents are ashamed.  I can speak for the children as well.  They’re hanging their heads and also they’re saddened they’ve brought their parents into the situation.”

Shyne also represents the home owner, William Hacking, 51, who likely will be charged with violating the state’s social host law.

Shyne said Hacking did not know anything about underage drinking at his house.

“He did go in and check on them, but certainly, as all kids will, they’ll hide things from their parents and that’s what took place here,” Shyne said.

Police said Hacking appeared drunk when they spoke to him Saturday night.  Shyne disputes that.

As for the beer bottle thrown at the police officer, Shyne blamed party crashers.

“This incident was supposed to be a social gathering for these young kids.  Often times, when kids have parties, people who are uninvited attend.  It was these uninvited attendees, who ended up throwing bottles allegedly at the police.”

WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields contributed to this report.


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