A clerk at a small market was busted for selling alcohol to minors when a Stamford Police lieutenant working with the OUI Enforcement detail happened to notice young people buying booze at the Hope Street Mini Market.
Lt Thomas Scanlan was driving by bodega around 7:14 p.m. Friday when he looked inside and saw several young males in the store and they appeared to be buying alcohol, Capt. Diedrich Hohn said.
Scanlan followed three of the teens to a parking lot behind the store and detained them. He quickly determined that all three teens were under the age of 18. As he detained them, three other young looking teens appeared in the back parking lot with alcohol and they attempted to get into another vehicle with a driver. They were also detained and it was confirmed that they were under the age of 18, Hohn said.
Lt Scanlan requested back up and he was aided by Hohn, who was working the OUI detail, and three patrol officers.
At this point, the store was shut down and the clerk Rakesh Ch, 28, of West Haven, was detained, Hohn said.
He was walked back to the rear of the store to show him what was going on. At that point, the youths all identified Ch as being the seller of the alcohol.
All the teens were under 18 and lived in Darien with their parents. Ch relayed that one of the youths had an ID and that teen was identified. The 16-year-old with the fake license was arrested and charged with forgery. He was released to his parents at the scene, Hohn said.
Through interviews, it was determined that Ch only asked for one ID and did not request ID from any of the other teens who possessed alcohol and left with it from the store. All the teens were released to their parents, Hohn said.
While the officers were conducting the investigation several other cars with teens from Darien attempted to pull into the lot to purchase alcohol.
"This type of behavior by the store’s clerk and the owner is very reckless and puts the youths and community at risk," Hohn said.
Ch was charged with seven counts of the sale of alcohol to a minor. The owner was summoned to the scene and identified as Md Huddin. He was advised of the situation and the officers made a referral to the State Liquor Commission for follow-up.
"The Stamford Police Department would like to commend Lt. Thomas Scanlan for his vigilance while working an OUI enforcement detail," Hohn said. "His observations shut down a known hot spot for underage alcohol sales and this arrest most likely put an end to this risky practice taken on by Ch and Uddin."
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