Parish to crack down on teen parties

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 7, 2000

VIDALIA, La. — This year, Concordia Parish Sheriff Randy Maxwell is hoping the only thing he catches in the nets at his lake house is fish. A couple of years ago, the problem of teenagers’ parties at Lake St. John and Lake Concordia hit home when one of the parties spilled over onto Maxwell’s pier. The teens quickly hid the beer when the sheriff drove up — and he found it when he pulled up one of his nets weeks later.

But for the sheriff, the last straw happened just two weeks ago, when two men in their late 20s were injured during a fight that broke out while they were visiting a teen party on Lake St. John.

One of the men, who were with a group of five men visiting the area from Monroe, suffered minor injuries. But the other was allegedly hit over the head with a shovel, receiving injuries so severe he spent three days in a Monroe hospital, according to sheriff’s Investigator Johnny Jones.

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So Maxwell is advising his deputies to crack down on parties where young people drink alcohol.

Underage people caught with alcohol will be charged with possession of alcohol by a person under 21, a misdemeanor that carries up to six months in jail, a fine of up to $100 or both.

Those hosting parties where youth are drinking alcohol will be charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile. That charge carries a maximum of six months in jail, a $500 fine or both.

&uot;And we’ll be looking at where these kids are getting their beer and liquor, too,&uot;&160;Jones said.

Such parties have taken place for years at Lake St. John and Lake Concordia and have caused auto accidents and other property damage, Maxwell said.

&uot;I’ve instructed deputies on patrol to really start watching for this type of thing,&uot;&160;Maxwell said. &uot;There could be tremendous property damage, or someone could get hurt.&uot;

Concordia Parish teens are not the only ones deputies will be watching out for, because many lake parties are attended by Adams County teens as well, he said.