Gov. Chafee’s 18-year old son cited by Jamestown cops for trying to buy beer
Governor Chafee’s 18-year old son, Caleb Chafee, has been cited for trying to purchase beer at a Jamestown liquor store, according to WPRI-television, which cited a Jamestown Police Department source.
According to the police report cited by WPRI, Caleb Chafee was caught on a liquor store video camera at Jamestown Wine and Spirits putting two cases of beer on the counter. Police said Chafee then got a cell phone call, told the clerk he had no money and said he would return.
Police said Chafee got into the back seat of a car which drove away. A police officer outside the store determined the driver of the car, a man named Fergus O’Farrell, 18, looked suspicious. Police pulled the car over and found beer in the auto.
Caleb Chafee reportedly told the police officer he wanted “`to take the fifth’’ and urged another passenger who was pulled from the car to do the same.
At that point the officer warned Chafee not to obstruct the investigation. Chafee was charged with misrepresentation and O’Farrell is accused of possession of alcohol by a minor.
Caleb Chafee is a senior at Portsmouth Abbey School.
Things are pretty quiet on Jamestown this time of year; three telephone calls to the police station turned up only a dispatcher taking the calls. The dispatcher said no police officers authorized to speak with the media were on duty. Messages left with both the lieutenant and Chief Edward Mello were not immediately returned.
Governor Chafee issued this statement: “When I and other public officials run for office, we understand that there is an additional level of scrutiny that comes with the positions we seek. Stephanie and I take this situation very seriously.’’
The issue was reminiscent of what happened to Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in June of 2004 just before he announced his campaign for president. Dean’s son, Paul Dean, was nabbed for stealing beer from the Burlington Country Club with some of his buddies from the Burlington High School Hockey team. In the long run, it didn’t hurt Paul Dean; he went on to Yale University.
If anything, the incident reveals that Caleb Chafee might make a good lawyer some day, after he matures a bit and gets his act together. Advising an accused person not to say anything to the police is advice that any criminal attorney would give in such an instance.