The party at 90 Church Street was so loud that Falmouth police were called just after 11 PM on Saturday, October 3.

Officers estimate there were more than 50 teenagers ages 16 to 19 at the party. Many were intoxicated, and there was no evidence of masks being worn or anyone practicing social distancing, police said.

The host of the party was Malcolm Swope, 18, who lives at the home. He and 19-year-old Grace C. McKnight of Gifford Street will be summonsed to court for hosting the party and for being minors in possession of alcohol, Falmouth Police Lieutenant Douglas DeCosta said.

More charges might be forthcoming as the investigation into the evening’s events unfold, Lt. DeCosta said.

As a result of the party, Falmouth High School pivoted to fully remote learning on Monday, October 5, as a precaution against possible spread of COVID-19. On Tuesday the school was back in session on the hybrid system.

The Falmouth High School students identified as being at the party have been told they are to stay at home for the next two weeks, Falmouth Health Agent Scott McGann said.

Some of the teens who were there on Saturday were from other schools, and some were college students, Mr. McGann said at Monday evening’s Falmouth Board of Health meeting. He told the board members that at this time, none of the partygoers is known to have contracted COVID-19 or to have been exposed to the virus.

According to the police report, Falmouth Detective David M. Massi saw multiple vehicles with teens fleeing the area, and he suspected the drivers knew police were on the way. Some were found outside the house and fled on foot when they saw the officers. Nineteen partygoers were found inside and eventually gave the police their names.

The host told police his parents and grandmother were sailing to Nantucket the night of the party. Mary G. Swope is the grandmother and the owner of the home. Malcolm Swope’s father is Ian G. Swope.

The police report describes the teens in the house as disrespectful and intoxicated. Beer cans and other alcohol containers, empty and full, were found, and it smelled “overwhelmingly of marijuana.”

“They made their disdain for the police very clear,” Detective Sean Doyle wrote. He said they were being rude while police told them they needed to call a sober ride home. Some gave false names and some pretended to call their parents. In the end, officers stationed outside the home made sure the teens went home with a responsible sober adult.

When Falmouth Detective David M. Massi arrived at the home, the 18-year-old host and Ms. McKnight opened the door and said they were alone in the home.

“I told them that it was obvious that there was an underage drinking party at the residence, which they again denied. I then told them that there was enough probable cause to arrest them at the time and that if they cooperated I would not arrest them. Grace continued to deny that there were any other youths present; however, Malcolm turned to her and said, ‘Let’s just comply.’ I followed Malcolm and Grace into the residence and to a basement bedroom,” Detective Massi wrote.

That is where 15 youths were found hiding in a small bedroom with the lights off.

“Not a single one of them was wearing a mask, nor was a mask observed in the residence,” Detective Massi wrote.

(1) comment


Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

Young people aren't dying left and right from COVID, but their grandparents are. Apparently, they don't think of that. Very little thinking going on that night. The police had to put themselves at risk as well to break up the festivities.

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