Parents Cuffed for Allowing Teen Drinking Party
The arrest of two parents in a wealthy Queens community sparks controversy over adult-supervised drinking.
When a student of New York's prestigious Poly Prep Country Day School threw a raucous party at his home in Breezy Point, Queens, on Saturday, it was his parents who ended up getting hauled away in handcuffs. Cops arrived at the scene to find "numerous minors" drinking with adults; two teens were hospitalized for alcohol abuse, and Anthony and Claire E. Reyes—aged 56 and 46—were arrested and charged with 10 counts each of endangering a child under 17. The arrests have sent shockwaves through the tight-knit, affluent communities of Rockaway Peninsula, where letting teens drink under supervision is fairly common. “The way [parents] operate is, ‘I’d rather they drink in front of me,’” says Mike Schramm, editor of The Rockaway Point News. “It’s against the law, of course, but I have a 7-year-old daughter and I don’t know if when she’s 16, 17, I’d want her drinking out in the dark on the beach.” Some Breezy Point residents, preferring to remain anonymous, call this a “stupid mentality” that is “teaching kids the wrong lessons," and leaving kids' safety in the hands of the community's private security forces. Many parents in New York's private school community have also expressed support for the Reyes' arrests, hoping that they serve as a warning to parents who let their kids drink at home. But other local residents are surprised: one neighbor said the party "sounded like innocent fun," while another adds,"It was just a party. They’re wonderful people. The kids go to Poly Prep, a beautiful school.”