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Police Break Up 800+ Teen Party

At least six minors cited for underage drinking.

A massive party was shutdown on Saturday in Highland Park because of overcapacity and underage drinking.

Authorities say they were tipped off about the event at  on Old Skokie Road by a parent concerned by the number of kids that were there.

According to  an estimated 800 teens were in the building, with approximately another 150 outside.

Officers say they quickly determined “the premises was over capacity” and observed several minors with some level of alcohol intoxication. Authorities believe most of the youth in attendance were from the North Shore.

The party was shutdown and six allegedly intoxicated minors completed juvenile cards.

Apparently the warehouse is occasionally rented out for youth parties that feature music. Security was also on the premises at the time. 

Authorities say this is the first time they’ve had to break up a party at this venue because of overcrowding. However, due to Saturday’s event they’re currently investigating whether or not laws and ordinances are being followed. 

Hal Troupin May 18, 2011 at 01:11 PM
It is a disservice to the kids that attended this party to lead the story with a photo of a young man with a bottle to his lips! Only six of the estimated 800 plus attending were found to be intoxitated...that is six out of 800! Our communities desparately need safe things to do on weekends. The rap has to be that those in charge apparently did not research the buildings capacity and control the number of people admitted. The article indicated that these dances have been going on for many months without incident. Don't close them down. Figure out how to help them succeed. Hal Troupin
Jacob Nelson (Editor) May 18, 2011 at 02:18 PM
You're right, Hal. I swapped the photo out. Thanks for the comment!
kurt swanson May 18, 2011 at 02:21 PM
jacob FYI there is still a photo of a drinker on the front page
Javier May 18, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Agree with you, Hal, Kids need a focused type of event to occupy themselves and keep them out of trouble. If the event planner is following ordinances (capacity, building suited for event type, liability insurance, event permit, etc.), I don't see the harm. Kids will drink - probably not at the event, but maybe beforehand or they'll drink behind the building/down the block, etc. It's hard to pin that on the promoter as I'm sure he probably wouldn't jeopardize his business with that illegal activty and risk his livelihood and freedom. Perhaps some better event management, limiting ticket sales, managing an outdoor line, prior contact with City of HP and Police Dept. would make for the event's mechanics to operate better. Overall, though, I think giving kids a place to go where they can hang out, listen to music, dance, whatever, is probably better than having them roaming the streets trying to find something to do and risk the temptation to cause trouble.
Andrew May 18, 2011 at 03:11 PM
Kudos to the parent who called the police. Managed attendance will make this a viable option for local kids. Perhaps the Highland Park Theater should target the "overflow" with Rocky Horror Picture Show or some such. It's obvious they have money, transportation and are looking for something to do.
David Greenberg May 18, 2011 at 04:58 PM
That the event is held in an industrial area, adjacent to a train track, at the end of the street is great. That limits the impact to just about anyone else - no problems with loud music complaints either. The primary issues that I see are: 1) Overcapacity. This isn't hard to manage - bouncers do it all the time at venues. It's called a hand-held counter... Bouncers are stationed at the entry and exit doors and communicate about how many came in/left so the capacity doesn't get out of hand. Make the fine $2500 for the first offense, $5000 for each subsequent offense and the venue will take it seriously. 2) It was reported in the SunTimes that the tickets were $20 each, and only water was sold. Are the proper taxes being paid on the those sales? 3) Alcohol/drugs. This is going to be a problem at ANY venue regardless of where it is. Some will do it on premise outside the view of the operator, some will do it beforehand. The best way to deal with it? Require the venue to employ two police officers for the duration of the event (similar to what Ravinia does). Anyone underage shows up wasted - they get arrested before they even get in. Anyone underage found to be wasted at the event gets arrested and removed. No worries about anyone getting refused entry (or ejected) and getting back into a vehicle to leave while trashed...
A Northfield Parent May 18, 2011 at 06:32 PM
To say that only 6 kids were drunk at last Saturday's HP underage party is a joke. Many kids left drunk. They just didn't get caught. Get on your kid's Facebook & read about these parties. Look at the comments to J Cool and look at the photos. Significant numbers of HP, NT & Loyola kids talk about getting wasted & partying hard before J Cool's parties. These kids are 14 to 16 years old. UNDERAGE!! These parties are organized by J Cool, a NT Freshman, who's Dad is a promoter. Please tell me how this isn't anything but a money making venture, that's preying on underage kids? I favor shutting these parties down completely, but at a minimum make the promoters hire police to be at the door & breathalyze every kids going in!
Daniel May 18, 2011 at 08:25 PM
Great comments by A northfield Parent. My freshman did not attend but heard stories. Its unbelievable to me that parents would let their kids attend. J Cool and his father should be in jail.
A concerned DHS Parent May 19, 2011 at 02:40 PM
For anyone to defend these parties especially David shows a total lack of understanding of what really happened at this and these other parties. The business owner should be shut down and fined for having intoxicated minors on his property. He is running these parties with his freshman child who is collecting $20 (service non taxable) to get in the door. The kids are showing up drunk and may be doing drugs while at the parties. The biggest disappointment is that it's one mile from the HP police department. Open your eyes. Cars for 800 teens just magically don't all get there via 41. My child has told me stories of the kids being drunk and getting sick outside the warehouse. Some get stoned outside. Get a grip Mrs Mayor and HP Police this is happening right under your nose!!!!
Walter bishop May 19, 2011 at 05:20 PM
Actually I work right between the warehouse and the highland park police station and this is the first I've heard of these parties. I'm out of highschool and I have to say that compared to some of the parties in Chicago this event seems pretty tame if you will. Kids from this area often will go to raves in the city on the weekends, often there is little to no security, no ID checking, and there are hard drugs everywhere. I would think twice about shutting down this venue because to be honest kids could be doing a lot worse things a lot farther from home, trust me I was a highschooler here once.
peggy pattis May 19, 2011 at 05:30 PM
Most of the kids really just want an under age dance club type of thing. Are there any of those any more?
A Northfield Parent May 19, 2011 at 05:51 PM
Read the your kid's FB comments on the HP Raves. A good number of these kids want to party hard & get wasted. Most of the partying happens before the Rave, but booze is snuck in. Hopefully, HP Police will be at the door to check whether kids have been drinking/doing drugs. This hopefully will help limit the underage, ILLEGAL drinking. The kids that want to drink & do drugs will find a way, but giving them a "legal" venue for their illegal activities is wrong. Shame on the parents who let or don't know that their 14-16 years old go to Raves in Chicago. Actually, J Cool, the promoter of these Raves, thinks it's funny that people are talking about him & his Raves. I guess bad publicity is good for his business. As of Monday more than 2400 kids were invited to the next HP Rave and 700+ accepted the invitation.
A concerned DHS Parent May 19, 2011 at 07:20 PM
There need to be REAL security at the door that knows what it is doing with a police presence that is paid for by the promoter.
Daniel May 19, 2011 at 07:26 PM
Peggy: That's what these weekend parties are supposed to be. Not quite working out like they thought. Its one thing to have a place for kids to do things, its another to make it easy and encourage kids to act recklessly.
Landon Cohen May 20, 2011 at 10:10 PM
J cool should definitely be in jail, throwing a party is much worse than rape, murder, etc. This is an absolute outrage! Who ever this self-proclaimed J cool is needs to take a hard look in the mirror and realize he is ruining our children and their high ACT scores!
A Northfield Parent May 21, 2011 at 03:04 AM
Mr. Cohen, I'm glad 14 year olds getting drunk, doing drugs, groping, grinding and hooking up is laughing matter to you.
Realistic, Trustworthy Parent May 22, 2011 at 05:42 AM
Mr. Northfield Parent, I'm glad you have no trust in our children and assume it was the majority that was "getting drunk and doing drugs" as opposed to a select few. If you have no trust for your own specific child, then don't let him/her out of the your house and let others deal with their own children. As for the "groping, grinding and hooking up", those activities are all up to the individual teen as to whether or not they choose to partake in. The alcohol and drugs are illegal and should not be tolerated, but the physical acts are nothing for you to judge. It is completely the choice of the individual teen to choose to do such things and should not be of your concern. Mr. Cohen was quite simply mocking the fact that the opinion of one man is that a business savvy teen and his father be "thrown in jail" for the actions of teens that are completely out of their control.
Concerned Parent May 24, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Northfield Parent, your use of the words groping, grinding, and hooking up do nothing but escape from the topic at hand. it is parents like you that are detrimental to this town. Mr. Cohen is merely stating a fact that Jcool should spend a night or two in jail with his father to be held responsible for his actions.
A Northfield Parent May 24, 2011 at 05:08 PM
I'm not missing anything! My comments came as a result of what I perceived to be extremely flip comments towards "rape, murder, etc". There is NOTHING funny about teens abusing other teens or themselves. I fully agree that J Cool & his dad need to take responsibility. His dad is hiding behind his 15 YO son in a highly profitable business. Jail them both! But, to say that questionable/illegal behaviors that are forced on innocent party goers, because it's crowded, dark & there's a lack of adult supervision is wrong on your part! If these parties continue there needs to be Police at the door & proper levels of non-parent supervision. My kid would love to go back, but if these security measures are NOT in place, then not a chance! Sorry, if THAT's misguided!
Deadcatbounce May 24, 2011 at 06:46 PM
I completely trust my child except when he is part of a goup of other kids. During those times groupthink often takes over and most kids are powerless at saying no and evaluating alternative ideas and viewpoints when the situation starts taking a turn for the worse. I'm sorry, but most kids are just not mature enough to go against the group. I would never trust my kid at a venue like this and will be seeking out more information on this place.
ARod May 05, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I went to HPHS and let me tell you there is nothing to do in the area. Young adults were exposed to sex, drugs, and alcohol everywhere we went. There used to be what we called get-togethers which consisted anywhere from 4 to 20+ ppl going to some ones house to watch movies or whatever where every one drank, experimented with drugs and hooked up with some one all in consent of everything. To say that this kind of event encourages that is senile. The biggest deterrent was my mom who set rules of what I could do and would set curfews, and FOLLOWED THROUGH by waiting up for me to make sure I wasnt high or drunk when I got home. If your kid is doing some of these things the signs are there you just have to look for them. You can't blame a promoter for your bad parenting. Trust me if these kids want to experiment theyre going to find the means. Next time your kid says I'm going over to so and so's house It could mean anything from: we're planing to drink, and we're going to smoke kush (marijuana for the retards), and that girl whose brains I'm hoping to screw the crap out of is also going to be there oh by the way there wont be 800 ppl but 6 of us. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?? Why don't you throw the promoter in jail. CHECK YOUR KIDS, DON'T GIVE THEM AN ALL NIGHT PASS, TEENAGERS CAN'T BE TRUSTED, WE LIE, IT'S IN OUR NATURE. LEAVE EVERYONE ELSE'S KIDS ALONE THEY'RE NOT UR KIDS IF YOU HAVE SOME SMART ASS, IGNORANT, UNINFORMED COMMENT IM LISTENING PARENTING 101 is open for business.

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