Police: Teenage Boy, Apparently Intoxicated, Enters Strangers’ Home, Refuses to Leave

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A 16-year-old boy from Stamford, apparently intoxicated late Sunday afternoon, entered the home of a Darien family he didn’t know, then became violent and refused to leave, police said.

Darien police gave this description of the incident, including accusations not proven in court:

Shortly before 4:45 p.m., when police were called, the boy knocked on the front door of a house on the Post Road, roughly in the area of Nearwater Lane and Dubois Street. A 10-year-old boy opened the door, and the teenager entered the home.

The teenager was making incoherent statements and sweating a lot, apparently because he was under the influence of some intoxicating substance.

The 10-year-0ld got out of the house and called his parents, who weren’t home. They called their 17-year-old son who was still in the house. The 17-year-old confronted the intruder, who struck him. The 17-year-old then went outside to wait for his parents to return home.

When the parents arrived, the father went inside and confronted the 16-year-old, who became aggressive and tried to attack him. The man went outside and called police at 4:45 p.m.

Police confronted the 16-year-old, and he immediately became aggressive. They gave him commands, and he refused, so he was forcibly taken into custody. He struggled, causing minor injuries to two officers (neither of whom needed to go to the hospital). The boy was not injured when police took him into custody. He did not have a weapon.

Since the boy was obviously impaired, Darien EMS-Post 53 was called in and took him to Stamford Hospital. A police officer accompanied the boy in the ambulance, because he continued to seem aggressive.

While the ambulance was headed for the hospital, the boy broke free of his restraints several times, and the officer repeatedly got him back in the leg restraints. During one outburst, the boy kicked a Post 53 member, injuring his nose and face. That Post 53 member was treated at the Stamford Hospital emergency department.

The teenager was kept under guard by two police officers. After he was treated for a while and didn’t seem to be intoxicated, a detective with the Darien police youth bureau met with the boy and his parents. He was released to his parents and was told to appear in Stamford Juvenile Court on July 18.

The boy is charged with risk of injury to a minor (a felony), third-degree assault, attempt at third-degree assault, three counts of assault on a public safety officer or emergency medical personnel (also a felony), second-degree burglary (also a felony) and interfering with a police officer.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated before 1:50 p.m. with new information added at various points in the article We may update the article further, in which case we’ll change the time in this note.

SIDEBAR:

Why Darienite.com Is Not Calling This a ‘Home Invasion’

At least one other Darien news organization has used the term “home invasion” in describing this incident in a headline. Home invasions, by most definitions (there isn’t a single definition), involve someone or some people with a weapon who are entering a home with the intent to commit violence or some other crime when people are inside.

There is no indication in the police announcement that the boy intended to commit any crime and he didn’t have a weapon — so to call this a “home invasion” seems unnecessarily alarming. The facts of the incident are alarming enough, particularly when some Darien residents don’t lock their doors.

It might be that the boy intended to commit a crime in the house, but police didn’t directly say that. They did charge him with second-degree burglary, however. In Connecticut law, “burglary” is a charge that applies when:

“such person […] enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling, while a person other than a participant in the crime is actually present in such dwelling, with intent to commit a crime therein.”

We don’t have any indication from police what crime they’re alleging that an apparently intoxicated 16-year-old was intending to commit in the house. So that charge doesn’t lead us to call it a “home invasion.”

Another reason we don’t want to use that term here: Connecticut actually has a law called “home invasion” and the boy was not charged with it.

Update: Detective James Palmieri, a spokesman for the department, said he has no problem with calling it a “home invasion.” He said police believe there was enough reason to charge burglary.