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Turtle Creek tailgating bust leads to 26 charges, 5 arrests

Kevin Allen | Thursday, September 11, 2003

The Sept. 6 alcohol bust at the Turtle Creek apartment complex, which broke up several tailgate parties prior to Notre Dame’s first football game of the 2003 season, has led to 26 people being charged with a variety of offenses, including minor in consumption, resisting arrest, and inducing minors to possess alcoholic beverages.

The crackdown was organized by the Indiana State Excise Police and assisted by the South Bend Police Department and the Notre Dame Security Police.

Lt. Greg Deitchley of the Indiana State Excise Police said most offenders were ticketed at the scene. Five were arrested and taken to the St. Joseph County Jail.

Since tailgating had gone on unopposed for years at Turtle Creek, the crackdown came as a surprise to some students. Deitchley said the Excise Police were motivated to organize the bust because of what he called “problems in the past.”

“The city attorney’s office got involved because they got complaints,” he said. “[The excise police] worked in conjunction with the South Bend Police Department and the city attorney’s office.”

According to Deitchley, the excise police intended to make a strong statement with Saturday’s operation, and there are tentative plans for the excise police to return to Turtle Creek on future weekends.

“I don’t know what weekends we’ll be there, but there’s a strong possibility we’ll be back,” said Deitchley.

Although officers of the Notre Dame Security and Police Department were present at Turtle Creek on Saturday, the University did not take any action in planning the crackdown. Deitchley said NDSP was called only after excise and city police arrived at the scene and decided they needed assistance.

When the excise police are done processing Saturday’s report, they will turn those names over to NDSP who will then pass the information on to the Office of Residence Life for disciplinary action against the students involved.

Those receiving citations on Saturday will be processed through the St. Joseph County court system. Deitchley said most offenders will be offered pre-trial diversion for a $250 fee. If they complete the program then their permanent record will be expunged.