Wednesday, May 9, 2012
A Georgetown County gynecologist charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor says the incident that resulted in her arrest has been exaggerated.
The arrest of Dr. Gayle Richmond took place after dozens of teenagers were caught with alcohol and illegal drugs at her home and on her property in McClellanville during a birthday party for her son.
Richmond was arrested Feb. 18 at her home on Pinkney Street, according to a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office report the Georgetown Times recently obtained after being informed about the incident by a concerned parent.
Charges were levied against 16 teenagers, some who, according to the report, attend Waccamaw High School. Charges against others were pending at the time the incident report was written.
Each of the charges was for being under 21 and in possession of alcohol.
Dr. Richmond said Thursday while there were alcoholic beverages on the property, she did not provide any of the drinks.
“I did not provide any alcohol to anyone. They brought it on their own,” she said.
According to the incident report, deputies were sent to the home after receiving a call from a concerned citizen who reported hearing what was believed to be gunshots.
When officers arrived they did not hear any gunfire but they saw “a large house party of 40 to 50 juveniles and adults,” the report states.
“Most” of those on the property obeyed orders and gathered in a room inside the house but some ran into the nearby woods and were not located.
“When I entered the screen porch of the residence there were beer cans all over the floor and tables. I then found several juveniles hiding throughout the residence,” the officer wrote.
He said in one of the bedrooms he found a 17-year-old female “who was unresponsive, lying in a pile of vomit “ so EMS was called to the scene.
She was taken to the hospital where she was treated for alcohol poisoning, the report states.
Another deputy who responded said three people were found in a vehicle in the yard. On the trunk of the car, in plain view, was a “marijuana bowl-type pipe and several open beers were found in the car.”
Also found in the vehicle was a metal tin can containing marijuana paraphernalia.
The deputy said 18-year-old Franklin Buck admitted the can belonged to him, so he was arrested for possession of marijuana.
Another person at the party, a juvenile, was found with some marijuana and a bottle of Crown Royal whiskey.
The parents of all the other juveniles were called to pick them up from the party. They were all issued citations for being under 21 and in possession of alcohol.
While many of those in attendance were charged, there were some who were not because they were not in the house where the alcohol was located when the deputies arrived.
After the final parent arrived, Dr. Gayle Richmond was arrested.
Unaware of the activity
Dr. Richmond said Thursday she was in her upstairs bedroom asleep while the party was taking place and had no idea there was alcohol or drugs on the property until she was awakened by her son who wanted her help in getting some of the teens at the party to leave.
“I do not provide alcohol, not even in my own home,” Dr. Richmond said.
She said the party was only supposed to be for about 15 of her son’s friends but many more showed up uninvited.
Richmond said the number “40 to 50” reported by deputies is “exaggerated.”
Richmond said she made many of the teenagers who were not invited leave before police were called by a neighbor.
She said one of the uninvited guests is a St. James High School student. She said not long after he was forced to leave she heard what sounded like a gunshot coming from the nearby area.
Dr. Richmond was also asked Thursday about the female who was found unresponsive. Richmond said the teen’s life was not in danger.
She said the teen was upstairs and was awake when the ambulance arrived.
“She told them she did not want to go to the hospital, but they told her she had to,” Richmond said.
Dr. Richmond said she will be cleared of the charges when she goes to court. So far, no date for a hearing has been set.
By Scott Harper