A Washington Township woman faces more than two dozen counts of child endangering after police broke up a party Friday evening where juveniles had been drinking alcohol. At least five of the teens had become drunk enough to require medical attention.
Kristen Donnelly, 38, of 2516 Point Pleasant Way was arrested for the party at her residence and arraigned Monday in Toledo Municipal Court.
She was released from the Lucas County jail on her own recognizance for all 26 counts. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 10.
“If you're going to have kids in the house drinking, you’re going to face the consequences,” Washington Township Police Chief Christopher Kaiser said. “They're [the parents] ultimately responsible if something happens to the kids. If they leave that house intoxicated or leave and get hurt, they’re going to track down the people that are responsible for buying the beer or hosting the party.”
Twenty-seven children, including Ms. Donnelly’s son, were at the party. The children ranged in age from 14 to 17, according to a Washington Township police report.
Five youths required either on-scene treatment or were taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.
“I was very highly upset,” said Kim Olszewski of Martin, Ohio, whose son and nephew were at the party. “It was just outrageous.”
Her nephew, she said, was hospitalized with a blood-alcohol content of 0.25 percent, more than three times the legal standard for intoxication in adults.
The court complaint also mentioned a 15-year-old treated at the scene with a blood-alcohol content of 0.139 percent.
Several parents said they initially thought the children might be throwing a party themselves because adults were out of town, but when they found out Ms. Donnelly was still there, they were appalled.
“I heard a detective say there was a mother there and my mouth about dropped,” said Lisa Beczynski, whose son was at the party.
Ms. Beczynski said her son had been at the party for only about 25 minutes when police arrived. She received a call from her son once police arrived and asked to be picked up.
“I was pretty terrified,” she said. “I was pretty scared when I saw all those ambulances. Then I heard a mother was there and I was like, ‘Wow.’ ”
Washington Township police were called at 9 p.m. Friday for a noise complaint and a report of juveniles drinking.
The responding officer, Eric Hart, said the front windows were covered with sheets, but he could see lights on inside. No one answered the door and, from inside, he heard someone say, “It's the cops, run,” he wrote in a six-page report.
Through cracks between the window coverings, the officer said he saw juveniles trying to hide cups and bottles before they ran to the back of the house.
The officer went around back, knocked, and announced he was there, Officer Hart wrote.
The juveniles ran to a different room, leaving behind a teen who lay face down across a footstool.
Unable to get the boy to respond, the officer broke a window to unlock a door.
The officer, and others who ended up responding, found 27 juveniles throughout the house, including a dozen hiding behind a bed and seven more trying to get into that bedroom.
An unconscious 16-year-old party-goer was found in another bedroom covered with pillows. He was taken to Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center for treatment, as was the teen slumped over the footstool.
Three more juveniles, including one who was 14, were found in the basement.
Ms. Donnelly’s son told officers that his mother was home, and during a search, officers found her trying to climb out a bedroom window, according to the police report.
Officer Hart reported that, more than an hour into the search, he noticed toothpaste “oozing from underneath a vanity cabinet” where a girl was hiding.
Five more juveniles were found during another search: three in a bedroom and two more in the basement.
Police determined from interviews that the youths, all of whom are considered victims as well as suspects, pooled their money, $72, and made arrangements for others to supply the alcohol.
The officer reported that there were open liquor bottles in every room of the house, a beer pong table was set up in the living room, a fully stocked bar cabinet was open, and there were several garbage bags with beer cans.
From the home, police confiscated 36 cans of Bud Light, one can of Four Loko, multiple alcohol samples, and the empty cans.
Charges against the juveniles were pending, Chief Kaiser said.
Contact Taylor Dungjen at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6054, or @Taylor_Dungjen on Twitter.