Several people face charges after Middletown police bust an underage drinking party. The arrests were made Tuesday morning at two neighboring apartments in the 1800 block of Howard. Local 12 reporter Larry Davis has more on why police are growing concerned about the latest incident involving teens and booze.
A neighbor called police complaining about the underage party. When officers arrived on the scene, they rounded up 15 people under the age of 21, including two juveniles. Police say two other juveniles took off and were never caught.
"I heard the beer cans last night hit the road." And those beer cans were still littering Howard Avenue where Middletown Police busted up the underage party early this morning. Donna Runyon lives across the street. Runyon says, "They were doing a lot of cussing and partying and running up and down the street here."
Police have charged 19-year-old Charles Allen with violating the city's keg law and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. "I hate it, I really do."
Kenny Linton owns the Howard Avenue property and was shocked to hear what happened. Linton says, "I know it's real bad. You've got underage kids drinking, and it's a total surprise to me what happened."
Linton says Allen lived in this efficiency and was remodeling an upstairs apartment to move into. Last night's arrests come just weeks after a 14-year-old boy was struck by a car on Oxford State Road. Police say he had been drinking and was seen staggering in the middle of the road when he was hit. Fortunately, the teen was not seriously hurt.
Middletown police say underage drinking is a problem that has to be taken seriously. Middletown Lt. John Magill says, "I think a lot of people look at that as harmless or kids are going to be kids, but the truth of the matter is we do have keg laws, and the bottom line is there is a danger to the safety of children and underage persons."
"Kids these days have no idea, they have not the slightest idea anymore. It's sad, and it's scary."
The landlord said Allen had a job, paid his rent and was helping fix up the other apartment that ended up being used for a party. He says Allen will be evicted, and from now on, will be careful about who he rents to.
Even though he was arrested just this morning, Allen's case has already been heard in municipal court. He pleaded guilty to the keg law violation and to one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Allen was given a suspended jail sentence, fined 350 dollars and ordered to pay court costs.