By JOHN T. WARD
The raid followed a police officer’s discovery of an “extremely intoxicated” female juvenile in the area of Bellevue Avenue and Rumson Road at 9:54 p.m., said Chief Richard Tobias.
Further investigation led police to a house at 60 Bellevue, where underage consumption of alcohol was occurring, Tobias said.
The homeowners were present, and were charged with maintaining a nuisance, a disorderly person’s offense, and were scheduled to appear in municipal court on May 9, he said.
Tobias, and a press release he issued, did not identify the homeowners. But Mayor John Ekdahl confirmed that the couple identified in property records as owning the home, Adam and Roslyn Bryan, were charged.
With help from Fair Haven police, “approximately 40” juveniles were taken into custody and released to their parents, with possible charges pending, Tobias said.
Among those already charged is the teen who was alleged to have been drunk in the street. She faces a disorderly persons charge. Lieutenant Scott Paterson, who made the initial arrest, is determining which other juveniles to charge, Tobias said.
Ekdahl said the arrests come just as Fair Haven and Rumson are ramping up an anti-drug, anti-alcohol abuse alliance at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High.
The program, in development for several months and called the Municipal Alliance to Prevent Alcohol and Drug Abuse, is scheduled to put a program officer in the school on a part-time basis to educate students and parents about the dangers of substance abuse.
The program came about, Ekdahl said, after an anonymous survey of R-FH students found that more than 50 percent of all students had used illegal drugs or alcohol, and more than 90 percent of seniors had.
The results suggested that an in-school Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program aimed at students as young as fifth-graders “is not having a great impact,” Ekdahl said.
Now, it’s time for the two towns to “crack down hard” on parents who allow kids to drink, Ekdahl said.
Such parties, said Tobias, “happen on occasion, and the town is reacting to that.”