STAMFORD — Police believe a sharp-eyed lieutenant on patrol may have averted a tragedy by interceding when he spotted underage kids buying liquor at a local market.

The Hope Street Mini Mart at 185 Hope St., will have its liquor license suspended on April 8 for one day after an investigation by the state Department of Consumer Protection Liquor Control Division. The investigation was based on a report filed by Stamford police that the establishment was a popular location for underage drinkers from Darien to buy alcohol, reports said.

Lt. Tom Scanlon was on patrol the night of March 18, 2018, when he saw what appeared to be an underage male teen holding a case of beer inside the mini mart, reports said. Several other kids were inside the market as well, Scanlon said in his report. When they came out with the beer, he asked for identification and found that they all were underage, he said.

Further investigation revealed that they had used a fake ID to purchase the beer and their cars were loaded with various types of liquor, including "Twisted Tea" hard iced tea and other types of beer in addition to the case that was just purchased, Scanlon's report said. As police were dealing with the teens, several other kids were pulling into the parking lot of the mini mart, leading officers to believe it was a popular place for underage drinkers to buy alcohol, reports said.

Stamford police issued the mini mart seven violations for sale of alcohol to a minor and reported the incident to the Liquor Control Division. "Lt. Scanlon's keen eyes" not only alerted authorities to the violations but "most likely averted a drunken driving tragedy by one of the youths," a captain said in his referral to the Liquor Control Division.

Liquor Control agents did a compliance check at the mini mart on Dec. 27 with a 17-year-old who was able to purchase a 24-ounce beer without showing identification, state officials said. The establishment was issued a one-day suspension due to the sale to the minor, Liquor Control agents said.