Thirty-three suspects charged with various ordinance violations in connection with an underage drinking party broken up by police in late July will crowd into village hall tonight to appear before a judge. None of the offenses lodged against the individuals scheduled to appear at the hearing rise to the level of a criminal complaint, and if found guilty, a combination of fines and community service are likely punishments.
In all, 35 individuals were arrested during the early morning hours of July 29 after a patrolling officer noticed a 20-year-old standing in the street with an open bottle of beer, according to police reports. While citing that individual with violating a local ordinance, the officer noticed dozens of young adults at a nearby home.
After additional officers were called to the scene, police were able to make their way inside an apartment in the 1000 block of Elgin Avenue where a 17-year-old Oak Park resident was allegedly hosting a party. Jimmie P. Moorehead claimed responsibility for the underage party, according to a police report.
Of the 35 suspects taken into custody by police, 30 were teenagers. Only two of those individuals, 24-year-old Brennan A. Page, of Chicago, and Moorehead, are facing criminal charges. Both are scheduled to appear in Cook County Circuit Court on Sept. 11.
None of the suspects in the case are Forest Park residents.
Village Prosecutor Sharon O’Shea said she typically sees a handful of cases at each month’s adjudication hearing related to underage drinking. Generally speaking, O’Shea said she has little sympathy for the accused in these cases and is frustrated by the sometimes blasé attitude taken by adults with respect to underage drinking.
“It is a big deal; it’s a very big deal,” O’Shea said.
During the summer months and major holidays the village will see a spike in the number of cases involving fake IDs and unlawful consumption of alcohol, O’Shea said, because of an influx of college students to the area. Forest Park’s bars, restaurants and liquor stores a big draw.
The village may issue fines up to $750 for each infraction, or order the defendant to complete several hours of community service. A third option available to the judge is to order an individual to complete an alcohol education program.