Police are investigating a case of criminal mischief in which structures at Merwin Meadows were tagged with graffiti, and whether or not an underage drinking party at nearby 25 Lovers Lane may have contributed.
Police believe the graffiti was put up on the night of August 11, as they received their first report of it on the 12th. That same night, two 19-year-olds were cited for alcohol-related infractions at a house party just up the road.
"I don't know that the two are necessarily related," said Wilton Police Captain John Lynch. "I don't know if we've seen that kind of scrawling or tagging before...but it was right around the same time as the painting was."
Police reports showed that MacKenzie Tracy, 19, of Norwalk and William Kydes, 19, of Wilton were both cited for alcohol-related infractions. Tracy was charged with possession of alcohol by a minor in a private place after police received a complaint of loud music from a neighborhood resident, responded, and found Tracy intoxicated. Police also cited Kydes for permitting possession of alcohol by a minor, as officers observed several underage youths consuming alcohol inside Kydes' home.
Kydes was previously charged in January at an underage drinking party in a similar location for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
"Typically what happens with this kind of location is you usually have one area where it's common to have parties," Lynch said. "You become familiar with them and we start monitoring them. A lot of times neighbors will call us."
Lynch added that many times the parties will begin as small gathering of friends. But with the advent of texting and hyper-communicative teens, it becomes an "instantaneous thing" and "before you know it there are 100 people, 80 of which weren't invited." That's what Lynch said likely happened Wednesday night.
Though no definitive link has yet been found between that gathering and the nearby vandalism, much of the bathroom area of the public park was spray painted around the same time as the party. Lynch said the police department had received reports of spray painting in the area a few days earlier, which was repainted on Aug. 11.
"It's going-back-to-college time when we start getting the [mailbox vandalism] and we start seeing some mischievous activity," Lynch said. "We'll keep the lights on later [at Merwin] so we can see people moving around down there...typically one party does it, and another responds, which is why it's important to cover it up quickly."
Lynch said none of the graffiti bore definitive enough marks that could lead police to identify a culprit. He did say officers plan to increase their patrols in the area as a result.