No 'Laughing' Matter: Police Target House for Serving Alcohol to Minors

"The Laughing Duck" was listed on Facebook as a "Local Business" in Bel Air.

UPDATE (1:56 a.m.)—The Harford County Sheriff’s Office raided a Bel Air house Friday night suspected of doubling as a bar called "The Laughing Duck" that served alcohol to minors. Its dozens of party photos had been posted on Facebook.

More than 30 people were at the party when sheriff's deputies executed a search and seizure warrant in conjunction with the Harford County Liquor Control Board at 724 Fox Bow Drive, a modest two-story house that police say doubled as "The Laughing Duck."

As of 11 p.m., three citations had been issued for underage drinking, though a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office said that was a “preliminary number.” At least eight individuals were seen taking a Breathalyzer test shortly after 10 p.m. to ensure they were capable of driving away from the party.

“This was an investigation in reference to some anonymous complaints. … We received several,” said Monica Worrell, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. “We have two suspects that are facing potential criminal and civil charges.”

Worrell said the charges are related to providing alcohol to a minor and providing alcohol without a license. Police had been investigating "The Laughing Duck" for approximately 10 days and believe its operations date as far back as September 2010.

The phone number listed on "The Laughing Duck’s" Facebook information page matches the number for the property's owner, John Vincent Wills Jr. Wills bought the house in December 2007, according to state property records.

A man named Jay Wills was tagged in at least three of the party photographs on the Facebook page. Jordan Wills, listed as a class of 2012 Towson University student and an employee of Geek Squad, was listed on the page, too.

When Patch called the listed number and asked about “The Laughing Duck,” a man who answered the phone said it was a wrong number. The Facebook page could no longer be found shortly after midnight Saturday.

Before the page disappeared, 85 people had “liked” the site. At 11:56 p.m., a male named Christopher Soper posted, “LONG LIVE THE LAUGHING DUCK.”

The next most recent post was by the page administrator. It was written at about 8 a.m. Friday and said: “Today’s the day! See ya’ll at 9pm. Wear yer green and get ready for some St. Shane-Drew-Patty’s Day!” An event called “St. Shane-Drew-Patty’s Day!” associated with the page was scheduled for 6–9 p.m. Friday and had 44 people listed as attending.

“Get ready for the biggest night yet at the Duck," the event listing stated. "If you’ve never been before, this is the night we’ve been counting down to all year! Come out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with us as well as the birthdays of Shane and Drew!”

The event suggested, as did others, that people bring a $5 donation.

“im bringing my 5 dollars in the form of swag,” one member wrote.

“if swag is accepted as cash I have enough for everyone ;)” another responded.

Worrell said police are still investigating how much alcohol was at Friday’s event.

“They had quite a history of having these parties,” she said.

Worrell added that the investigation was a cooperative effort funded by a grant from the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. The program is designed to bring awareness to and prevent underage drinking.

Due to an update in the police investigation, the number of estimated people who attended the party has been changed from more than 40 to more than 30.

RW Willy March 19, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Talk about political brown nosing! You stated that the investigation was prompted by anonymous complaints. Then 10 days of solid police work. Congrats to those investigators. But for Monica Worell to add that this was due in part by a grant from the Governor's office! Come on. My question is; what other crimes aren't being investigated because of money, what would those officers have been doing if not looking into the "Duck" Excellant article and congratulations to the Sheriffs department.
Sheilam March 20, 2011 at 02:04 AM
Wonder if you would still feel this way if one of your loved ones was hurt or killed by one of the underage patrons from this party.
RW Willy March 20, 2011 at 02:47 AM
My point is...the sheriffs department acted on a tip. I feel safe in saying that they did not check with their accountant prior to opening the investigation. They acted properly regardless of the Guv's money. Maybe they dipped into that fund for a little overtime? Good for them. If Annapolis didn't waste money on vote buying legislation we would be able to hire more law enforcement personnel. So please read and follow my post. I would not want anyone hurt or killed by an underage or overage drunk driver.
Hollee Sifford March 20, 2011 at 12:36 PM
This story made the Channnel 13 news...


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