‘I Don’t Want Cops in My House’: Interfering Charge for New Canaan Man, 59, in Oenoke Ridge Underage Drinking Party Case; Felony Charge for Teenage Son

A 17-year-old boy lay seriously injured and unconscious for nearly 40 minutes in the basement of an Oenoke Ridge Road home, bleeding from his ear, before emergency responders were called, partly because the father of the teen who was hosting the underage drinking party where he’d fallen insisted that nobody phone police about it, officials say.

Douglas Knight, 59, on Thursday turned himself in on the misdemeanor charge of interfering with an emergency call in connection with the March 25 party, according to a police report.

Though the Knight parents were not at home that Saturday night, they kept the injured boy’s parents in the dark about his injuries for a critical period of time and instructed their own son as well as others in the house not to call 9-1-1, according to an arrest warrant application from New Canaan Police Sgt. Peter Condos of the department’s Investigative Section.

Ultimately, the father of a girl who attended the party phoned 9-1-1 himself after learning from her what was happening, Condos said in his sworn affidavit.

“Douglas Knight became aware of a serious problem at his residence at about 11 p.m. and it can be documented that he first relayed to his son to not call 911 (‘dad says not to call’),” according to the arrest warrant application. “At 11:06 his son called his father’s cell phone and spoke for over 3 minutes and probable cause exists to believe that again his son was told to not call 911 (since 911 was not called and all persons present at the scene were pressing [Douglas Knight’s son] Andrew or someone to call for help) … Douglas Knight arrived back at his residence somewhere between 11:10 p.m.-11:15 p.m. and became fully aware of the gravity of the situation in person. Still, for approximately 10 minutes after arriving he argued with [a girl at the party] about why he refused to call 911 and causing [that person] to curse him again and decide to call her father again, who ultimately placed the call for help himself at 11:21 p.m. That an official 911 call for help is recorded being placed by [Douglas Knight’s wife] at 11:24 p.m., nearly a full half hour after the situation became known to the Knights of an unconscious, bleeding from the ear youth.”

Douglas Knight’s 18-year-old son, Andrew, at the start of the night collected $10 from various youths—including fellow members of the New Canaan High School varsity baseball team, for whom the party appears to have been thrown, according to Condos—drove to a liquor store in Norwalk, bought four 30-packs of beer, two handles of hard liquor and a bottle of Fireball whiskey and returned home to distribute it. When authorities finally did arrive, the younger Knight appears to have changed his story about just how the 17-year-old was injured, according to the arrest warrant application. He was charged with providing alcohol to minors, a Class E felony offense, under state law, as well as permitting a minor to possess alcohol.

According to a press bulletin issued by Lt. Jason Ferraro, NCPD’s public information officer, the department received a 9-1-1 call from 1235 Oenoke Ridge Road at about 11:24 p.m. regarding a 17-year-old who had fallen down a flight of stairs. He was transported to Norwalk Hospital, where Emergency Room physicians later relayed that the victim’s injuries were “possibly the result of an assault,” Ferraro said.

“Subsequently, a lengthy criminal investigation began into what caused the injuries to the victim,” he said.

The investigation involved conducting about 30 interviews, executing search-and-seizure warrants and ex-parte court orders, examining telephone records, conducting an electronic forensic examination, consulting with a state’s attorney and applying for two arrest warrants, he said.

According to Condos’s application for Douglas Knight’s arrest warrant, police were dispatched to the residence— a 9,000-square-foot home up toward the state line, near Lukes Wood Road—at about 11:28 p.m. on March 25.

Arriving, police entered the home with a member of the New Canaan Fire Department through a side door of the house, went down a stairwell to the basement and “noticed there was a hole in the sheet rock wall directly at the bottom of the stairs and some small blood stains on the carpet.”

“To the right of that, [the injured youth] was sitting and leaning against the adjacent wall … [he] was not responding to verbal statements.”

EMTs from the New Canaan Volunteer Ambulance Corps arrived and took the injured teen to the hospital.

Meanwhile, Andrew Knight told police that the injured youth had fallen down the stairs, “but when asked how high up the stairs [the teen] fell from, he stated [that the juvenile] actually hit his head when [he] was rounding the corner to go upstairs and fell,” Condos said in the application.

“We asked if there was any alcohol or drugs involved, and Andrew said he did not see everything [the youth] was doing, but that [he] probably was just drinking. Another witness stated she believed [he] was just drinking alcohol, but the only other thing [he] may have done is smoke marijuana.”

Another person at the party “went further by saying the injuries were of such severity that he questioned the accounting of events on how they occurred—that the injuries may not have happened simply by hitting a sheet rock wall (and alluded that the police should look further),” Condos wrote.

Police were unable to establish that an assault had occurred, according to Condos.

“However, information gathered during these interviews necessitated a secondary investigation into the inordinate amount of time between when [the injured youth] was discovered laying at the bottom of a staircase unconscious and when emergency services were notified of the emergency,” Condos said.

One witness said the injured youth had been found at the bottom of the staircase around 10:45 p.m., according to Condos—a timeframe corroborated by a later Uber ride that was recorded.

“When several youths decided that 911 and the police should be called Andrew said ‘his parents told him not to call.’ No call was thus made,” Condos said.

Another witness told police that he heard Andrew Knight talking on his cellphone at about 10:45 p.m., overheard him use the word ‘unconscious’ and say “I don’t know what to do,” according to Condos.

“That witness stated that at about 10:50 p.m. or thereabouts, she was walking toward the ‘back room’ when she came upon a person lying at the bottom of the back staircase seemingly unconscious,” Condos said. “There was no one else present. She went to the person and realized it was [the injured teen], who she knows from school. She stayed with [him] assessing his condition for a minute or so and then ran to find someone for help. She ran into the back room and found Andrew Knight talking with some people … She described Andrew as ‘just chilling’ and hanging out. They both went to [the injured youth] where [an individual] tried to revive him using a ‘sternum rub,’ ” Condos said.

It didn’t work. The girl then told Andrew Knight to phone 9-1-1 or his own mother, Condos said. He phoned his mother at about 10:59 p.m., according to the arrest warrant application for Douglas Knight.

Based on multiple witness statements, police established that the youth fell around 10:50 p.m.

One witness told police that she listened as Andrew Knight spoke to his mother “for several minutes” and told her about the injury.

“She could also hear his mother tell him, ‘Don’t call the cops—dad says not to call 911—wait till we get there,’ ” according to Condos. “This troubled [the girl] (that 9-1-1 was not to be called) and she immediately tried to call her father at 11:06 (as recorded by her iPhone). The call did not go through so she ran to the residence’s landline and did make contact with her father at 11:07 and told him what was happening and that the Knights were on the way home.”

During that period, Andrew Knight also phoned his father and they spoke for 3 minutes and 36 seconds, Condos said.

“He [Andrew] presumably gave more details and/or an update of the apparent emergency,” Condos said. “Since 911 was still not called, Andrew was presumably again told not to call 911 and to wait for his parents’ arrival.”

Before the Knights got home, a set of parents arrived at the house to collect their daughter, at approximately 11:10 p.m., Condos said.

“They both tried to rouse [the youth] but were unsuccessful,” the report said. “At this point Andrew was on the phone again with his mother and handed the phone to [one of the adults] who spoke with Mrs. Knight.”

The mother “told Mrs. Knight that she also thinks 911 should be called,” according to Condos. “For whatever reason, 911 still was not called—possibly due to the Knights staying that they are very close to returning to the residence—and [one individual] states that they did arrive a very short time later, perhaps at 11:10-11:15.”

The father of the injured youth also arrived around this time, Condos said.

“After learning the commotion surrounding [his son] and realizing it was [he] that was unconscious, [the father] tried to sit [the boy] up against the wall,” Condos said.

The injured youth “opened [his] eyes briefly and then ‘went out again,’ ” according to Condos.

The father was described as “being in shock and at times not responding to” those around him when they tried to address him, the report said.

At 11:16 p.m. (according to an iPhone timestamp), the concerned girl was again on the phone with her father, who asked whether 911 had yet been called, Condos said. The girl handed the phone to Douglas Knight’s wife and heard the woman ask, “What should I do?”

When she was told to call 9-1-1, the Douglas Knight’s wife hung up and said she was going to do that—“at this point, Mr. Knight interjected and said ‘No,’ ” the report said.

Witnesses attested in statements that Douglas Knight said “I don’t want cops in my house” and “We can take [the youth] (to the hospital) ourselves,” according to Condos.

This angered some of those present, who talked about being a “Good Samaratin” and assuring Douglas Knight that he wouldn’t get into trouble but must ring 9-1-1, the report said.

But Douglas Knight refused and one of the female witnesses present called him a “[expletive] dick.”

Finally, the concerned girl’s father phoned police at 11:23 p.m., Condos said. Douglas Knight’s wife phoned police a minute later.

One witness reported that “at the hospital she asked Shawnee Knight, Andrew Knight’s mother, how she learned that [the youth] had been hurt and there was a problem in her house,” the report said. “Knight told her that Andrew called her and told her about [the youth] and asked if he should call 911. Knight confirmed that she told Andrew not to call 911 and they would be coming home soon.”

Also, the injured boy’s father “related that prior to arriving at the Knight residence he was completely unaware of anything wrong.”

“He had been texting [his son] at just about 11 p.m. to see if [he] needed a ride home. He was unsure of which friend’s house [his son] went to for the evening. He was getting no response to [his] text and so he called Douglas Knight’s cellular telephone number to speak with him and ask if there was a baseball party at his house (and surely his [son] would be there).”

A woman answered that call and “they had a short conversation and she confirmed that [the youth] was at her house and that they were on the way home,” the report said. “She did not tell or indicate in any way to [the youth’s] father that anything was wrong. She did not inform him that his own [son’s] emergency is the reason the Knights were on the way home at that very time. The recorded time of the telephone call by [the injured youth’s] father to the Knights is 11:09 p.m.—firmly in the timeframe where the incident is full blown. [The boy’s] father was furious after learning this ‘deception.’ ”

Douglas Knight was released on $5,000 bond and scheduled to appear June 1 in state Superior Court in Norwalk. Andrew Knight was released on $5,000 bond and scheduled to appear May 31 in state Superior Court in Norwalk.

The Knights retained legal counsel and declined to be interviewed by police, according to an arrest warrant application.

“The liquor store where the alcoholic beverages were purchased, World of Beverages, was referred to the State of Connecticut Liquor Control Commission,” Ferraro said in the press bulletin.

According to the arrest warrant application for Andrew Knight, “the introduction of alcohol to the youth party … started out as a New Canaan baseball team party only.”

“Andrew Knight, in his own and/or parents’ vehicle, transported [an individual] and six other juvenile members of his baseball team to the World of Beverage liquor store in Norwalk,” Condos wrote.

Andrew Knight collected $10 from each of his passengers in order to help pay for the alcohol, and he himself entered the store—a fact confirmed by video surveillance there, police said.

He then traveled back home “where he had preplanned to use the residence for the party,” Condos wrote.

Several of the youths said that they had been to previous parties hosted by Andrew Knight at his Oenoke Ridge Road home, police said.

“In fact, one of Andrew’s retrieved text messages—March 25 at 20:11—alluded to the fact that his parents ‘are still mad’ about a party that apparently got out of control ‘last weekend,’ ” according to Condos.

Andrew Knight appeared to collect $10 from other members of the baseball team who arrived at his residence for the party, and then texted and invited “more people to his party and around 8:30-9:00 p.m., many non-baseball youths were arriving as well as a girl of girls that were specifically invited,” according to Condos.

“Text messages showed that other youths were asking Andrew if they could come to the party and he allowed them into his residence—asking them to let him know when they arrived and to come to the front door.”

The youths interviewed by police acknowledged that “a large alcohol party” was in progress “with many youths freely consuming and others involved in a ‘beer pong’ game,” Condos wrote. It appears that up to 50 youths were in the residence, he said.

The party had been “in full progress for hours with no attempt to halt the underage alcohol consumption” until about 10:45 p.m. “when it is acknowledged that Andrew became very angry and began shouting to everyone ‘not on the baseball team’ to get out of his house,” according to Condos.

Some of the statements made by various youths regarding Andrew Knight’s anger include “getting sick in the bathroom,” “it was overcrowded,” “alcohol available to anyone,” “out of control,” “kids started throwing beer cans around,” “pouring beer on the floor” and “really drunk.”

Police in March, immediately after receiving reports of a youth party where a New Canaan was seriously injured, put out a call for information on what had transpired at the residence. Many New Canaanites in the intervening weeks, including some members of the injured juvenile’s own family, have expressed eagerness for the department to conclude its investigation.

36 thoughts on “‘I Don’t Want Cops in My House’: Interfering Charge for New Canaan Man, 59, in Oenoke Ridge Underage Drinking Party Case; Felony Charge for Teenage Son

  1. When you suffer “affluenza” and are bereft of a moral compass… my hometown 😡

  2. This is a case where people made some very poor judgements and a series of mistakes.
    I don’t think the Knights should be shunned – rather it is biblical that “whoever is free of sinning can throw the first stone”. We have all made mistakes- the Knights should be forgiven and encouraged to be better- we can all do better and are all guilty of falling short!
    Forgiveness+Love=PEACE

  3. Stuns me that parents in NC can be so irresponsible, here you have people that believe it is okay for their children to drink, that lying is okay, and one need not take responsibility for their actions. What would have happened if any of these pathetic people left the house and drove home drunk, and wound up killing yet another innocent person? Just amazing that people are so disrespectful to others

    • It’s ironic and hypocritical that any parent of a NC teen is surprised about it. Honestly the bigger surprise is that someone has not been seriously hurt or died before this. Alcohol is an epidemic in our town and everyone knows it. NCHS consistently allows their athletes to behave this way with minor consequences. A large percent of parents enable it by allowing this illegal behavior in their own homes. For the one party in the news, there were another 100 that took place but never made it to the paper. Parents are well aware and cover for each other and their children. Drinking and drugs are a weekly/daily occurrence in NC. Social media chronicles the sad facts without shame, regard for the law and with zero sense of wrongdoing. Parents, why are you okay with your minor children postings pictures of themselves drinking while on vacation with you, or at home? Where are you and why are you allowing this? Part of your responsibility is to “monitor” and instruct your children. Your silence is defenying and part of the problem. If we don’t speak up, we are all at fault.

  4. Athletes and athletic endeavors are held in the highest esteme. The team spirit and separation of jocks from non jocks starts around 4th grade.

    Jocks become the default leaders at that age and their role only gets bigger. This default role of leader and role model is why our athletes should abide by the highest standards

  5. WOW !! So sad what this world is coming to.. How can a grown man and woman make such a series bad decisions one after an other !? And then try to hide from them and tell their child to go along with it.. DISGRACEFUL ! This whole thing is just so sad. My Parents advice was to never make a bad situation worse, owe up to your mistake and do the right thing. This town could have had somebody killed by these stupid decisions. We all have made bad decisions in life but the real judgement is how we deal with them. In this case it was a massive fail !! Some one could have been killed in this instance..SAD !

    • I actually feel that in addition to the boy who lay unconscious, The boy recieving felony charges is a victim.

      The boy who hosted the party has grown up in an environment: New Canaan, that encourages / promotes this behavior. Every fundraiser, even for the library,revolves around alcohol, local shops have cute shirts in the display window that say things like “yoga, deep breath, wine” coaches that turn a blind eye, etc.

      Just a few years ago a lacross player was arrested twice in one weekend for alcohol posession and fake I.D. This event could have been the impetus for zero tollerance rules for varsity teams.

      • Not every fundraiser – on April 25, 2017, The Ram Council Foundation held an alcohol free Gala/fundraiser at the New Canaan Country Club, with almost 200 adults and young people in attendance. They danced the night away.
        Ram Council Foundation is a group of more than 100 high school aged, New Canaan residents, who pledge not to abuse drugs or alcohol, or be around that activity. They also support one another, do public service and have fun as well as community events. http://www.RAMCOUNCIL.org

  6. I am totally in shock that the coach and AD at NCHS knew about this in March and let the kid who hosted this party play the whole year.And how about suspensions for the other players who attended?This is a sad story some kid could of died.I live outside of NC and this is the first time I am hearing about this.Does anyone know if suspensions were handed down at all?Please advise

  7. Many of these post convicting the Knights before due process makes me sick. You sound like the same people who made the same claims about the Duke lacrosse team before they were all found innocent. Act like adults and let the courts do their jobs before you jump to conclusions. I’m sure there is plent of blame to go around.

    • So, you think miraculously these people are innocent? The duke lacrosse case is a bad comparison. This sounds like the facts are clear. It’s a shame that it wasn’t handled better and the boy should not have continued to play for the team. 25 years ago high school athletes signed a code of conduct prohibiting alcohol, does that not still exist?

      • It doesn’t matter what I think or what you think, it’s what comes out in court. Let the system play out before this rush to judgment on social media.
        “Did you ever read “To Kill A Mockingbird?” You should.

  8. To the reader who submitted a comment with the “PutItOnTheBoard” hotmail address, I went to email you for identity verification and it bounced back as undeliverable. Since this is a sensitive and emotionally charged topic, I am allowing people to use their real initials in usernames—however, even in those cases I myself need to be able to verify your identity. If you want to comment/participate in this thread, please resubmit with a working email or write to me directly at editor@newcanaanite.com. Thank you.

  9. Michael do you know if an assault complaint was actually filed by the victim? It’s not clear from your story.

  10. In response to GE’s last comment…

    GE – hurling insults is not the way to have a grown up conversation. But, suit yourself.

    Frankly, I don’t think the coach knew of the drinking party prior to the incident. So, I am in agreement with you on that point. Rather, my concern has to do with his response in light of the facts – after the event. I will also acknowledge the coach, along with everyone else, do not have all the facts – even to this day. But, there was/is enough information for the coach (and probably the athletic director, too) to take harsh measures (including kicking players off the team), as difficult as they might seem, but they did not. Keep in mind there are many, many instances of high school coaches and administrators in this country booting players from a team for inappropriate conduct. So, this is nothing new. Simply stated, I believe the coach failed the kids, the school, and the town.

    Separately, if there is a concern the varsity team would not have enough players, the easy answer would be to fill the void with players from the JV squad.

    Hopefully the injured player gets back to full health, and hopefully all the kids have learned a valuable lesson – and this will not be repeated. As for the “adults” who made poor decisions, the community and the law will have the final word.

    • Anyone who has had athletes at NCHS can probably recite the much ballyhooed “athletics is a privilege not a right speech” as well as the team rules when it comes to drugs and alcohol. It all sounds good but the problem is that it’s been inconsistently applied. Here is the rule straight from NC Athlete Code of Conduct:
      Tobacco, Alcohol, Other Drugs – Administrative Guidelines for Use or Possession

      First Offense:
      A student, after confirmation of a first offense, is put on probation for 10 calendar days. During this probationary time, the student:
      * will participate in practices/meetings at coaches discretion;
      * may not participate in any competition/performances;
      * will attend a meeting with parents, Athletic Director/Administrative Representative;
      * will be required to meet with the NCHS Outreach Worker for counseling referral;
      Voluntary admission of an offense can reduce the period of ineligibility by half and is applicable to the first offense.

      Second Offense:
      The student, after confirmation of a second offense, will be suspended for the remainder of the current sport season. In addition, the student:
      * will meet with the parents, coach/extracurricular advisor, Athletic Director and Principal;
      * will be required to meet with NCHS Outreach Worker for counseling referral;
      * will be ineligible for club recognition or awards and any post season team functions and awards.

      CRIMINAL ACTION
      When the school has substantiated knowledge that a student has been charged with a criminal offense, he/she will immediately be suspended from participation. The high school administration and athletic director will consider duration of the suspension and reinstatement of the student to a program based upon a review of the information.

    • Sorry if you felt insulted. Clearly you and I have different ideas about what constitutes a “grown up conversation.”

      You cannot fault the coach in this situation, plain and simple. If he kicks the kid off the team without having any more of the facts than you or I do, he is opening himself up to possible litigation. Black and white, plain and simple.

      I have a bigger problem with the fact that the accused was allowed to attend prom, in light of the police report. That being said, I’m not calling for the principal to step down.

  11. This is an unbelievable story.Almost an entire season was played and this story breaks now.I see NC has a great record.The school administration along with the AD should be let go now.Where were the dismissals and suspensions for the players involved?

  12. Just one more example that for too many people living in New Canaan, the rules don’t apply. Glad I live elsewhere.

  13. So sad.. in a town where most parents can afford to give their children everything they fail to teach them basic human decency.

    5 adults and 20+ teens – all armed with cell phones – and no one calls 911 for 45 minutes ?

    ask yourself -is this really what we want for our children, for ourselves ?

    Are perfect teeth, manicured lawns, a a winning baseball record, and stunning homes more important than raising happy, healthy, caring children. Is the desire to be surrounded by the “in crowd” more important than teaching our children right from wrong. Does the fact that you raise money for a charity absolve you of gross negligence as a parent and an adult ?

    I know there are people in this town who are better than this ! It’s time we as a community stand up and call out those who pretend it is ok to behave in this manner and take responsibility for our own children and how they behave in this situation. It’s not someone else’s responsibility – it’s all of ours !

  14. A very sad story but there is one thing that everyone is overlooking in this whole mess. Why didn’t one of the NCHS students call 911. They all have cell phones. Let’s not give them a free pass