The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

February 20, 2013

Under-age party could net charges

Star Beacon

CONNEAUT —  Charges are pending after police broke up a drinking party early Sunday morning attended by 16 underage people.

A 21-year-old man whom police said tried to thwart officers’ attempts to crash the party could be charged with obstructing official business, officers said.

Police were contacted shortly before 12:30 a.m. about a party under way at a house on Daniels Avenue. Parents in the household were out of town and their 17-year-old son was hosting the party, officers said.

Police knocked on the door and heard the sound of bottles clinking and people scurrying around. A handful of young people passed by the door and down a set of steps, officers said. No one came to the door, police said.

In view of police were packages of beer.

While still knocking, officers said the male suspect emerged from the basement steps, locked the door as police were telling him to open the door and then returned to the basement. Police were able to locate a caretaker who arrived at the house and convinced the son to open the door. The caretaker entered and moments later the son opened the door to officers, according to a report.

Police said they found four juveniles on the premises (three 17-year-olds and one 15-year-old), a dozen people under the age of 21 years and three people 21 years or older. Beer, vodka and other alcoholic beverages were found in the house, officers said.

One male damaged a small basement window while trying to escape, officers said.

The son of the homeowners admitted hosting the party but said he did not provide any of the beverages, police said. The boy was claimed by a relative, the caretaker secured the house, the alcohol was dumped and the party-goers released to parents or guardians, officers said.