Seventeen arrested for underage drinking

Donelle Pardee Whiting

Illinois State Police officers, responding to an anonymous tip to the District 8 Underage Drinking Hotline, arrested 17 underage drinkers.

Police received the tip about an underage drinking party at 26243 Schuck Road about 12:07 a.m. Saturday. The owners of the residence were not home, State Trooper Tony Halsey said.

Officers from the ISP and Tazewell County Sheriff’s Department investigated the tip, resulting in the arrest of 17 subjects for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

Although the residence has a Washington address, Washington Deputy Chief Don Volk said it is within Tazewell County coverage area.

Halsey said there were about 40 people at the party.

There were a lot of cars present at the residence, Halsey said, adding “Hopefully, we saved someone’s life. An innocent bystander could have been driving on the road when the kids were driving home.”

Volk said he received a call from state troopers about the party. He then consulted with the trooper on the phone, Volk added.

Halsey said all 17 subjects were give state citations with a notice to appear in Tazewell County Court.

If found guilty, their driver’s licenses will be suspended for a minimum of three months and they will have to pay a fine.

In addition to the underage drinking charge, party host Scott C. McClellan, 20, 26243 Schuck Road, fled on foot from the scene after being detained.

Because state, Tazewell County and Pekin K-9 units were unavailable, Halsey said they called in Peoria and Bartonville police to assist.

“He took off running and it was pitch black,” Halsey said, “so we called in K-9 units.”

Halsey added that McClellan was not a serious criminal, but made a bad choice in running.

Volk said state troopers contacted him a second time about McClellan fleeing police.

Washington officers received notice of McClellan’s whereabouts, Volk said, adding he then alerted state officers.

McClellan was arrested at another residence where the parents were not home.

McClellan was charged with escape, illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor and a Peoria County warrant for failure to appear on a DUI charge.

McClellan was transported to the Tazewell County Jail. He appeared in court Monday and was given a $1,500 bond. His next court appearance is April 16.

All the party attendees were under the age of 21 except for one individual, who was 21.

Police are currently investigating the source of the alcohol.

In addition to McClellan, the following Washington residents were arrested for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor:

Robert A. Wall, 20, 300 Wilshire; Kevin J. Cioni, 19, 1014 Knollcrest; Ryan P. Pfiefer, 20, 3 Colonial Court; Darryl A. Suttle, 20, 252 Briargate; Kyle D. Heavrin, 19, 305 Elgin; Angela D. Myers, 20, 121 Albert; Samantha J. Barlow, 20, 501 Hillcrest; Samantha J. Lynch, 18, 309 Elgin; Zachary D. Charlton, 19, 14 Oxford Court; Evan Z. Voyles, 20, 1609 W. Jefferson; Stefanie L. Metka, 19, 127 Inglewood; Ashley L. Weston, 19, 9 Hunter’s Way; Adam T. Fowler, 20, 1209 Westminster; Clayton D. Britell, 20, 301 Court St.; and Reid J. Miller, 20, 1902 Canterbury Court, Apt. 2.

One Metamora resident, Martina A. Gehrig, 18, was also arrested for illegal consumption.

Halsey said because Washington residents have become proactive in reporting underage drinking, police have been able to respond.

“We need more people to report incidents of underage drinking,” he said.

Anyone with information about underage drinking parties should contact the underage drinking hotline at 866-479-2857, or go online to www.drunkstopper.com. All tips are anonymous.