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College Park busted for third year

Kate Antonacci and Maddie Hanna | Friday, March 18, 2005

For the third straight year, local police agencies busted a large student St. Patrick’s Day party at the College Park apartment complex Thursday.

The Indiana State Excise Police issued citations to four students at the 18027 Bulla Road apartment complex, district 1 excise Lt. Greg Deitchley said.

One male was cited for both minor in consumption and for presenting an officer with a false identification, Deitchley said.

Three other individuals were cited for minor in consumption, but no custodial arrests were made, Deitchley said.

The excise police arrived at College Park in six unmarked vehicles and entered the complex at approximately 6:30 p.m.

About 60 to 75 students were detained in one of the apartment units until each student presented a legal identification with proof of age to an officer. Several breathalyzer tests were also conducted.

The St. Joseph County Police, though not giving out citations for minor in consumption, waited outside the unit for crowd control purposes, several on-site officers said.

St. Joseph County Police said apartment 18027 was the largest, loudest and most crowded unit. Deitchley said the excise police decided to enter 18027 as opposed to other College Park units after establishing probable cause to break up the party.

“We do a series of things to establish probable cause,” said Deitchley. “Once we got there, we verified we had probable cause.”

Deitchley said the Indiana State Excise Police was not called in by the St. Joseph County Police Department, but was patrolling the north South Bend area as a precautionary measure due to past St. Patrick’s Day incidents.

“We had cars up in that area around Turtle Creek, College Park and also Lafayette Square,” Deitchley said. “We had extra people out because of activities of the past two St. Patrick’s Days.”

Last year, St. Joseph County Police arrested six students at College Park and one was taken to St. Joseph Regional Medical Center after falling from a balcony. The previous year, a student also fell from a balcony at a larger party, though no arrests were made.

Officers from the Mishawaka Police Department and Roseland Police Department were also at scene this year, but did not enter the College Park complex.

Patti Russwurm, property manager of College Park, said no extra security was brought to the complex for St. Patrick’s Day despite the history of busts and accidents.

“I just sent out an email reminding the residents to be safe and [that] there are no more than eight people allowed on the balconies or patios, reminding them they are responsible for their guests as well as themselves,” Russwurm said.

Senior Mark DeSplinter, 22, lives in apartment 18027, unit C. He said he was not home when the party began around noon, but he returned from Bengal Bouts practice at 6 p.m.

DeSplinter said he was frustrated that he was not allowed back in the apartment until the police were finished at 7:30 p.m.

“Basically, this is the most efficient thing I’ve ever seen. They won’t let me back in my room,” DeSplinter said. “They have at least seven cops inside scanning every ID. They said it is due to the large amount of people inside.”

St. Joseph County Police Department was at College Park not to deal with alcohol-related issues, but to follow up on calls about traffic along Bulla Road and Route 23, according to Sgt. John Kuhny.

“We’re out here due to excessive traffic complaints,” Kuhny said. “Basically what’s going on in there [College Park complex] is no concern of mine.”

By 6 p.m., Kuhny said St. Joseph County officers issued two citations for public indecency, particularly public urination. He also said St. Joseph County Police issued citations for cars parked illegally on the side of the road. Issued tickets ranged from $50 to $100, Kuhny said.

Jaimee Thirion, spokesperson for St. Joseph County Police, said that officers are just trying to make sure students are safe.

“We know there are festivities,” Thirion said. “There is nothing major going on – we’re out patrolling.”

Notre Dame Security/Police did not handle any off-campus events, said NDSP assistant director Chuck Hurley.

“We know that St. Joe County Police was out at College Park, but I don’t know if any arrests were made,” Hurley said. “On campus, one intoxicated student was turned over to hall staff, but that is all.”