May 18, 2017
Pictured is newly elected Board of Health member Emily Cilley.
By GAYLA CAWLEY
SWAMPSCOTT — Police are investigating a Saturday evening incident involving an intoxicated teenager at a Thomas Road residence, the home of a newly elected town official.
Emily Cilley, who was elected to the Board of Health last month, confirmed that the address is her home, and that there was an intoxicated teenager there on Saturday night.
“That did happen,” she said.
Police responded to 65 Thomas Road at 11:15 p.m. last Saturday, and found an intoxicated female teenager, according to Swampscott Police Sgt. Tim Cassidy. He said the incident is under investigation.
Cilley said she has three teenage daughters. She and her husband went to a fundraiser for Raw Art Works that night.
She said she had given permission for her daughters to have a few friends over to play ping pong. Maybe word got out that they were having friends over, but her daughters had to start rejecting, or turning away, kids who were showing up.
Two of her daughters were allowed to have four friends each as guests. Her youngest daughter later arrived from being at a friend’s house. Throughout the whole night, Cilley said there were 18 kids, but not all at the same time.
What happened, Cilley said, was that one girl, who was invited and has Type 1 diabetes, brought a water bottle with alcohol inside. She said she doesn’t know if the others knew about the alcohol, and that was not what was intended to be going on that night.
“They said she was fine one second and she wasn’t fine one second,” Cilley said. “She went from being fine to not fine.”
Cilley said the girl threw up, but she doesn’t know how else she was acting. When her daughters and other teens there realized the girl wasn’t fine, they called her parents and police. The kids were aware she was a diabetic. She said she was pleased with their behavior in that sense.
The girl was taken to the hospital by ambulance. Cilley said the teen is fine, and that she went to the hospital to make sure she was OK. She said the sense she got from the hospital was that her getting sick from the alcohol didn’t have anything to do with her diabetes. She may not have eaten much that day, Cilley added.
Cilley said the incident was certainly unfortunate, and she and others were certainly worried about the child who drank too much, but she thinks the kids involved dealt with it in the best way they could. She’s not sure if the girl was the only one drinking. Beer was taken out of the house by police, she said, but it was her husband’s Budweiser.
Her daughters, including her youngest who walked in just before everything happened with police being called, and the other kids at the house, are facing consequences. Swampscott Police called the school resource officer, and her daughters are all being suspended from their sports. Some kids stuck around even when police were there to see if the girl was OK, and are now being penalized, she said.
In addition, Cilley said her daughters are also facing consequences from her, which includes losing some of their privileges.
While all of this was happening, Cilley said she was at the benefit with a dead phone. Once she got into the car and plugged it in, she got a phone call from a friend who told her what was happening and that she needed to get back home.
Part of what Cilley campaigned on were youth issues, including underage drinking. She said the first thing that came to her mind when she found out was that she got elected to the Board of Health and the thing she was trying to prevent was happening to her.
She said underage drinking is not one of those things someone can prevent — it’s not realistic to think that teenagers won’t drink anything — but she wants to make sure they’re cautious about it, and don’t do things such as overdrink and drink and drive.
“All I can do is use this as an example, and work from there, and make people aware this can happen to anybody’s family,” Cilley said. “Nobody is immune to this.”
Cilley said she and other parents just have to hope that when their kids make some bad decisions, that in the end they do make good decisions. She said she feels that’s what happened in this situation. The girl went to the hospital, got help, and she’s fine, she added.
“In the end, that’s what matters most,” Cilley said.
Gayla Cawley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GaylaCawley.