Grandmother, Mother Charged After Underage Alcohol Party In Hilliard
Hilliard police are sending a strong and clear message after a graduation party got out of control this past weekend.
Officers ended up breaking down the door to a home to break up the party.
“He wanted 20 of his best friends here, so we said, OK, that's fine," said Deanna Call, the grandmother of a recent Hilliard Darby High School graduate.
The 57-year-old condo owner says she thought everything was fine when she went to bed about 12:30 Sunday morning.
But soon after, officers responded to her home on Hill Park Drive after they got a call of suspicious people and vehicles in the neighborhood.
Police say officers observed underage people drinking through open windows at the home.
Police officers say they also observed marijuana use.
"With the presence of alcohol and narcotics, officers repeatedly tried to get the person to come to the door to investigate, but they got no response," said Hilliard Police Lt. Ron Clark.
"My grandson came and woke me up, and he's in a panic,” said Call. “And I came downstairs. The kids, they turned out all the lights. We just thought if we keep everything quiet, it'll be OK, you know, they will go away. But of course, they did not.”
Officers returned with a search warrant.
"They put us in cop cars, and they still came to the door, and the kids would not let them in, so they tore the door down,” Call said.
Deanna Call and her daughter, Shoney Ziessler, the graduate's mother, were both arrested and charged with obstructing official business and hosting an underage alcohol party.
In an interview outside her home on Monday, Call told 10TV News that she did not know that underage kids were consuming alcohol and drugs.
“I did not know that,” she said.
She said she did not know how the alcohol got into her house. She says the kids must have brought it in later after she and her daughter went to bed.
Upon further questioning, Call admitted that she should be held responsible, even though she says she doesn’t know where the alcohol or marijuana came from.
Police say they have zero tolerance for incidents like this. They say they will enforce the law and bring charges if necessary.
"A lot of parents think that as long as kids are in their house, making sure it’s safe for them to drink, then it’s OK,” said Clark. “That's the wrong message to send to juveniles."
For Deanna Call, it was a tough lesson to learn.
"It's a real wake-up call for me and my daughter and grandson,” she said. “Our life is changing from here on out."
She says if she could turn back the clock, she would have never gone to bed that night.
She said she believes things got out of hand when news of her grandson's party hit Facebook and double the number of kids showed up at her house.
She says the problem is she did not personally know many of those other kids.
She says from now on, those kids will never be allowed back into her home.
Both Call and Ziessler posted bond to get out of jail Sunday.
Their next court appearance is on Wednesday.
Both are facing at least six months in prison and a fine if convicted on the two misdemeanor charges.
Police say there could be more charges involving the drugs.
Detectives are not ruling out charging the more than 40 underage kids who were at the party.
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