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Alcohol-related incidents spark concern

By SARAH MERVOSH | Friday, August 27, 2010

Three people were arrested and two more were cited last weekend for minor consumption in off-campus areas heavily populated with Notre Dame students. The suspects were 19 and 20 years old.

Three of the suspects gave Notre Dame campus addresses and two gave out-of-state addresses.

These incidents came after police busted a party July 17 at 1017 E. Washington St. and took 43 people to jail for various alcohol charges. Those arrested included eight football players, one basketball player and nine hockey players.

South Bend police responded to a call that a fight was occurring at the corner of Washington and Eddy streets and were dispatched at 1:41 a.m., according to the police report.

“When the officers got there, they realized the fight had spilled over from 1017 E. Washington, so officers went to that house and they called for more units because there was a large party there,” the report stated.

The officer exited his squad car and heard glass breaking from the rear of the house. A white male ran out from behind the building and continued to run when police ordered him to stop. Officers pursued him on foot, but were unable to catch him, the report said.

People also jumped out of windows and from the roof of the residence, the report said.

South Bend police called Indiana State Excise Police to assist them and were at the house for about an hour. It took three trips using the South Bend prisoner transport van and patrol vehicles to transport all of the suspects to St. Joseph County Jail, the report said.

The suspects were kept in jail until their blood alcohol content levels returned to zero. For many of them, this took several hours and they were released the next morning.

The decision to arrest was made by the South Bend police, said Lt. Tim Cleveland, excise police commander for the district in which the incident occurred.

“The decision was made before our officers arrived,” he said.

He said excise police make the decision to arrest based on circumstances.

“If the individuals are too intoxicated to walk, then we’ll incarcerate,” Cleveland said.

The blood alcohol levels for those arrested at the July 17 incident ranged from .02 to .16 percent. Twelve of the 43 individuals arrested had blood alcohol content levels of .05 percent or below.

Several messages left for the South Bend police were not returned.

Student body president Catherine Soler said student government is aware of these recent incidents and is “putting forth efforts to protect students, keep them safe and allow us to have fun while respecting the law and our neighbors.”

Soler also said she is compiling reports of the incidents and encouraged anyone who has knowledge of an incident to contact student government.

“We want people to come and tell us so we know what’s going on,” she said. “So when we talk to people we have testimonials.”