Teens who want to celebrate the end of the school year with a drink are finding a new place to gather.
Instead of meeting at people’s homes, with cars lining streets and neighbors calling police about the noise, they are finding locations off the beaten path.
Over the weekend, sheriff’s deputies arrested 18 people at underage drinking parties at a barn and a vacant home. Sheriff Doug Cox said teens pick the locations because they think they are less likely to be caught there.
“As we get smarter, they get smarter. They know what we are looking for, and that’s cars parked on the street and neighbors calling. So they go elsewhere,” Cox said.
When school lets out, police see an increase in the number of parties where teens and people under the age of 21 are drinking, he said.
And they need teens and their parents, who sometimes condone the parties, to know that isn’t acceptable, he said.
“There is no right to passage, there is no right to be drinking because you just graduated high school,” Cox said.
Over the weekend, deputies were called to two of those parties.
Police arrested 12 people, including six adults and six teens, at a property in Bargersville just before midnight Friday.
Sheriff’s deputies were called to the 2500 block of North County Road 575W because of noise. When officers arrived, some of the people at the party ran and were rounded up by police. Others went inside a vacant home on the property. Tyler Lynn, 21, Bargersville, whose family owns the property, would not let officers inside and his parents did not cooperate, so the deputies got a search warrant for the home, according to a report from the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies also searched other buildings on the property, and found people hiding there. Once they got a search warrant for the home, they found two adults inside who had not been drinking, the report said.
When they are called to a possible underage drinking party, police will wait for the search warrant so they can make sure everyone is safe, for example checking for anyone who drank too much or took too many pills or if someone is being sexually assaulted, Cox said.
“We’re not going away, we are going to do what we need to do,” Cox said.
“The reason we don’t give up, the reason we do get a search warrant is to make sure someone’s child is not unconscious.”
At that property, police arrested six teens, aged 16 and 17, with blood-alcohol contents from 0.02 to 0.08 percent and sent them home with their parents.
Also arrested were:
- Lynn, 2501 N. County Road 575W, on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
- Whitney Key, 18, 4015 Magnolia Drive, Franklin, on a charge of resisting law enforcement.
- Bailee Whitaker, 18, 6533 Hot Springs Place, Apt. G, Indianapolis, on a charge of resisting law enforcement and consumption of alcohol by a minor.
- Erica Davis, 19, 8823 Lake Tree Lane, Indianapolis, on a charge of resisting law enforcement and consumption of alcohol by a minor.
- Kara Farina, 19, 635 W. Stop 11 Road, Indianapolis, on a charge of resisting law enforcement and consumption of alcohol by a minor.
- Dillon O’Connor, 20, 1735 Birch Court, Plainfield, on a charge of consumption of alcohol by a minor.
Just before 1 a.m. Sunday, police also were called to a party in a barn in the 2000 block of County Road 100W, southwest of Franklin. Deputies could hear singing as they approached the barn, according to the report.
The teens inside told deputies they had just graduated high school and were having a celebration and drinking beer.
Two teens under age 18 had blood-alcohol contents between 0.07 and 0.13 percent, and were sent home with their parents.
Also arrested on a charge of consumption of alcohol by a minor were:
- Conner Squier, 18, 3840 N. County Road 450W, Bargersville.
- Collin Squier, 19, 268 W. County Road 375S, Trafalgar.
- Cohen Carter, 18, 6695 S. Nineveh Road, Trafalgar.
- Kyle Mathena, 19, 6072 N. County Road 125W, Whiteland.
As of Monday morning, all of the adults arrested were released from the Johnson County jail.