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Published: Saturday, 4/2/2005

Four are charged in drinking case

Four men were arrested Thursday after authorities searched a West Toledo residence where a 17-year-old Ottawa Hills girl passed out at a party.

Kurtis Kantura, 20, of 2063 Wyndhurst Rd. and Amro Kassem, 19, of Sylvania Township were charged in connection with hosting the party late Sunday and furnishing vodka and beer to the girl.

James Diaz and Dustin Erwin, both 20 and both of the Wyndhurst address, were arrested when authorities found suspected drugs or drug-related items in their bedrooms, said Earl Mack, of the Ohio Department of Public Safety's investigative unit.

All but Mr. Kassem were arrested at the Wyndhurst residence. Mr. Kassem was arrested at his township home. All have been released.

Authorities seized beer, liquor, and a loaded semiautomatic handgun from the Wyndhurst residence during the search about 10 p.m. Mr. Mack said the gun belongs to Mr. Kantura, who does not have a conceal-carry permit or a Toledo handgun card.

The father of the Ottawa Hills High School girl told authorities about the incident Tuesday. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.37 percent, more than four times the legal limit for an adult motorist in Ohio.

The girl and two friends, ages 16 and 18, went to the party, where they were furnished alcohol. One of the friends called the girl's mother when the girl passed out.

The mother drove her daughter home and made her vomit, saving her from alcohol poisoning, Mr. Mack said.

He said the girl will be charged.

Authorities are pursuing additional felony charges in the case, which remains under investigation.

Mr. Kantura and Mr. Kassem were each charged with contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child and furnishing beer/intoxicating liquor to a person under 21.

Mr. Kantura also was charged with keeper of a place where alcohol is furnished in violation of the law and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Mr. Diaz was charged with drug paraphernalia and drug abuse-marijuana.

Mr. Erwin was charged with underage possession of beer and drug paraphernalia.

All of the charges are misdemeanors.

The cases were continued until next week.

Mr. Diaz is a freshman pharmacy student at the University of Toledo; Mr. Erwin is a freshman arts and science student, university spokesman Tobin Klinger said. Mr. Kantura and Mr. Kassem are not enrolled at the university.

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