2012-04-12 / News

Governor’s son charged in Jamestown

BY TIM RIEL

Caleb Chafee, the son of Governor Lincoln Chafee, had a run-in with Jamestown police on Southwest Avenue over the weekend. The 18-year-old was questioned after allegedly trying to buy two cases of beer at Jamestown Wine & Spirits.

The following day, Jamestown police confirmed their suspicions after looking at surveillance tapes from the liquor store.

At 8 p.m. Saturday, Det. Derek Carlino was on routine patrol when he noticed what he believed to be three young males in front of the liquor store. Carlino turned around and parked in the store’s parking lot, and observed two of the three men sitting in a parked BMW, while the third male, Chafee, had entered the store.

Carlino said that the two men inside the car looked over at him “more than a dozen times” and they appeared to be “very nervous” about his presence.

According to Police Chief Ed Mello, Chafee received a message on his phone most likely from one of the two men inside the car “warning him about the police.” Chafee, who had two cases of beer ready for purchase at the counter and was now aware of the police, told the cashier, Varsha Patel, that he had no money and exited the store. Carlino pulled the car over after it departed from the parking lot.

After searching Chafee for a fake ID and finding nothing, Carlino questioned the 18-year-old why he was in the store. “I wish to take the Fifth,” said Chafee. After questioning the driver, Fergus O’Farrell, 18, of Fort Getty Road, Jamestown, why Chafee was in the store, O’Farrell said that Chafee had entered the store to buy alcohol but was denied. After Carlino asked O’Farrell how Chafee planned to buy alcohol without a fake ID, O’Farrell said that he just hoped the cashier wouldn’t ask for proof of age.

When Carlino asked the third member of the party if Chafee had a fake ID, the governor’s son yelled to him, “Take the Fifth.”

Carlino then began to search the car, and after pulling down the center armrest in the backseat he spotted two cases of beer and a bottle of Jagermeister in the trunk. The detective asked O’Farrell where the trunk pop was, and the teen responded, “I don’t think I have to tell you that.” Carlino then used the vehicle key to seize the alcohol.

O’Farrell was charged with both transportation and possession of alcohol as a minor. The following day Jamestown police watched surveillance footage from the store. Chafee was then charged with entering a premise under the age of 21 with the intent to purchase alcohol.

Mello said that he spoke with Governor Chafee as a courtesy about the incident and Chafee’s reaction was that of a “concerned father.” Both men are due in court on April 20 in Newport.

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