BURRILLVILLE, R.I. (WPRI) – A Burrillville man was arraigned Wednesday morning after police say his “obviously drunk” 10-year-old daughter was found in his home along with several empty bottles and a “container” of vomit.
Paul White, who sometimes goes by the name Christina, was arrested Tuesday after police said three children became intoxicated in the suspect’s Sayles Avenue home under his watch. Neighbors cheered and shouted as police led White away in handcuffs.
Police responded to the suspect’s home after a Burrillville couple reported White served alcohol to their 10-year-old daughter and her two friends. The couple said the three children became “dangerously drunk” and had to be hospitalized. When they arrived at White’s home, police said White was inside with his 10-year-old daughter and that they were both drunk.
“Responding officers founds a 10-year-old female obviously intoxicated, numerous bottles of alcohol, a container of vomit, along with the 10-year-old girl’s father, Paul White,” Burrillville police wrote in a report.
White’s cousin Zack Tayes told Eyewitness News that the young girls couldn’t even walk.
“She’s only 10-years-old and she was completely intoxicated, she couldn’t even stand or walk on her own on her own power. When the ambulance got there, we had to carry her and put her on the stretcher,” he said.
While the children were receiving treatment in the hospital, police obtained a warrant for White’s arrest. White was arraigned Wednesday morning on three counts of procuring alcohol to a minor and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He pleaded not guilty on all counts.
The couple who reported the incident, Jamie Taft and Chrystal Chamberlain, said White knowingly served the children alcohol. They said White took them to the liquor store and went as far as pouring shots of vodka for each of them. Taft and Chamberlain said their daughter was “so inebriated and out of it… slurring her speech, stumbling… and completely drunk.”
Police said they also believe White purchased alcohol for the children on two separate occasions the night of the incident. They are accusing White of bringing the children with him to the liquor store and then – later in the evening – returning to the liquor store by himself to purchase additional alcohol for the children.
White, though, said he was not aware of the children’s drinking and denied procuring the alcohol for the girls. He admitted he had alcohol in his house, but he said the girls “just got into it.”
“I would never buy children alcohol,” White told Eyewitness News hours before police arrived at his house to arrest him. “I would never do that with children.” (See Steve Nielsen’s original story below)
When asked if he had anything to say to the parents, White said, “I would like to apologize to them, yes. I am very sorry that happened in my house.”
Police said the Dept. of Children Youth and Families (DCYF) currently has custody of White’s 10-year-old daughter and Chamberlain said she hopes that doesn’t soon change.
“I surely hope he doesn’t get his daughter back,” Chamberlain said Tuesday. “He doesn’t deserve to have kids. He surely doesn’t.”
White was held in police custody overnight and was held on $1,000 bail after his Wednesday morning arraignment. He was forbidden from contacting any children under the age of 18 throughout the duration of his trial.
A pre-trial conference was scheduled for July 1.
Burrillville police and DCYF officials said they are still investigating the incident.