standing Police Siren Generic

STONINGTON — Three people were hospitalized Saturday evening after an irritant believed to be pepper spray was sprayed into the air during the Stonington High School senior prom at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa ballroom, but each was later released and are expected to make a full recovery.

Stonington High School Principal Mark Friese said in in an email to parents Sunday evening that “the Groton P.D. has determined that the substance was some sort of pepper spray-like substance and that there should be no lasting effects.”

He said in the email that all three students were taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London where they were treated and released.

Friese said in the email that the students, who officials indicated were having trouble breathing, “appeared fine when they went home.”

According to Town of Groton Police, dispatchers received complaints around 9:45 p.m. after an irritant was sprayed into the air near the dance floor of the hotel’s ballroom, located at 625 North Road.

Town of Groton police were assisted during the response by area firefighters and ambulance personnel.

The incident sent many dancers scrambling and led prom attendees to evacuate, bringing a quick end to the event, officials indicated. A small group of adults later went in to retrieve belongings for students, officials indicated.

Town of Groton Police Sgt. David Miner told media outlets Saturday that the three students did not suffer any lasting effects from the exposure. He did not comment further on the investigation.

The department said Monday that no arrests have been made. The case remains under investigation, the police confirmed, but additional information was not available.

Stonington police are assisting in the investigation, the department said Monday.

Friese said in his email to parents that the district does not condone the behavior and is seeking help from students in the investigation.

“Clearly this is not the way our students represent themselves, their school, or their town,” he said.

Anyone with information is asked to reach out to their local police department, or to contact Friese by email at

Recommended for you

(1) comment


Unfortunately that is how students "Represent themselves, their school and their town" in this Brave New World of Anything Goes.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.