Hilliard Northwest News

Police: More than 40 caught drinking underage at party

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As many as 46 juveniles and young adults face charges of underage possession of alcohol after Hilliard police waited more than two hours early June 9 to obtain a search warrant and forcibly enter a residence in the 3900 block of Hill Park Drive.

Hilliard police arrested two women for obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor, and for hosting a party that provided alcohol to underage persons, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The women, ages 41 and 57, are the mother and grandmother of an 18-year-old man, all three of whom reside at the house, police said.

The 18-year-old is a recent Hilliard Darby High School graduate, according to WBNS-10TV, and the party was celebrating graduation.

Hilliard police responded to a complaint of excessive noise at the residence at 12:29 a.m. Sunday, June 9, according to reports.

Upon arrival, none of the occupants would come outside the residence, even after officers announced their presence, said Hilliard Police Chief Doug Francis.

"Some of the people inside saw us coming and knew we were there. ... I guess they thought we would just go away if they stayed inside," Francis said.

After obtaining the warrant, police announced they had a warrant and would forcibly enter the residence.

After receiving no response, police forced entry, Francis said.

"After we broke down the (front) door, several kids ran out the back door," Francis said, but all the juveniles at the residence were detained until a parent or guardian could take custody.

More than 40 teenagers and young adults were at the residence, Francis said, some of whom called or texted their parents while hiding inside the residence.

Parents began arriving at the scene but had to wait with police as no one would come out of the residence, Francis said.

None of the juveniles indicated they had been held against their will or prevented from leaving, so police are not considering charges of kidnapping, which would have been a felony, officer Hyda Slone said.

Police found alcohol, marijuana and drug paraphernalia inside the residence, Francis said, but charges for possession of the marijuana and drug paraphernalia are not likely as police cannot connect them to any one individual.

The adult occupants of the residence, however, are charged with hosting underage parties, an all-inclusive charge that includes the lesser offenses of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, Francis said.

"It's the highest charge for incidents such as this," Francis said.

As of June 11, detectives were still compiling a report but had identified at least 46 juveniles and young adults who were at the residence.

The case is challenging, police said, because some of the young adults are still under the legal drinking age of 21. The distinction has legal ramifications, police said.

The youngest person at the residence was 14 years old, police said.

A 22-year-old man was arrested for obstructing official business after he refused to come out of an attic where he was hiding, but all others present are likely to be charged only departmentally.

It is unknown whether the 18-year-old resident of the house will face charges.

The two women arrested were transported to the Franklin County jail, where they posted bond and were released.

According to Municipal Court records, both women reside at the Hill Park Drive residence and are charged with misdemeanor counts of obstruction of official business, a second-degree misdemeanor, and for "permitting alcohol," a first-degree misdemeanor.

Each woman was scheduled for arraignment in Municipal Court at 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 12.

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