Erie County sheriff’s detectives were continuing their investigation Sunday into a weekend party of underage drinkers that turned into mayhem in Clarence.
Thirty-one people, all of them under the legal drinking age of 21, were arrested, and the adults who own the home where the party was held could also potentially face trouble, Sheriff Timothy B. Howard said late Sunday.
“We are continuing our investigation, and if we find that adults were playing some role in what happened, they could be charged,” Howard said. “If you give alcohol to underage drinkers, if you sell it to them, or if you cause it to be given to them, you could be charged.”
Damage to the home at 8290 Clarence Center Road was “so extensive” that a police photographer was called to the scene to take photographs of it.
According to police, the mayhem started early Saturday morning in the home near Newhouse Road. Sheriff’s deputies said they were called to the home at 12:24 a.m., after someone threw a rock through a car window.
“Multiple deputies from the Patrol Division responded to the complaint of a large drinking party that was supposedly getting out of hand,” Howard’s office said in a press statement. “Upon arrival, the deputies found large amounts of alcoholic beverages in a garage with intoxicated youths. Some of them had left out the back doors, while many went into the house and refused to unlock the doors to let police in.”
Deputies witnessed “multiple fights” going on inside the house, and went inside and arrested all the partygoers, the Sheriff’s Office said.
One party guest allegedly slammed a door on a deputy’s hand, causing a window in the door to break and cutting the deputy’s hand, police said.
In an effort to prevent “drunk driver tragedies,” police had about a dozen cars that were parked in a nearby restaurant lot towed away from the scene.
At this point, Howard said, he does not know whether the homeowner or any other adults were in the home at the time the party occurred.
A telephone number listed to the home was no longer in service late Sunday. A neighbor and an employee of the restaurant parking lot declined to comment. The names of those arrested at the party were not released.
Howard noted that the weekend party came two weeks after an Oct. 5 party on Schang Road in Wales, where 15 underage drinkers, many of them high school students, were arrested. After the Wales party, police found beer, hard liquor, several small bags of marijuana and smoking pipes.
In the Wales case, property owner Richard Nice, 45, was charged with multiple counts of unlawfully dealing with a child and endangering the welfare of a child.