Parents who rented ‘party bus’ for kid’s birthday face charges—US police
Parents who organized a “party bus” for a child’s 14th birthday that saw around 60 juveniles maskless and flouting social-distancing rules will be charged.
Officers of the Mt. Healthy Police Department sighted a large unmarked bus enter the Hilltop Shopping Center at 9:50 p.m. on Dec. 12, as per the department in a Facebook statement on Dec. 14. Juveniles who were seen exiting the bus were not wearing any masks nor were they practicing social distancing.
“Shortly thereafter, several fights broke out which necessitated calls for assistance from other police agencies. One juvenile attempted to strike Mt. Healthy Police Officer Dunn and was arrested,” the police said.
The bus driver also did not heed the command of officers to reboard the minors and instead fled from the scene, leaving some 60 kids in a “very agitated state.”
The police department said officers worked for the next hour to break up the fights and distance the juveniles from one another. They also directed the juveniles to call their parents for transportation. It was reported that none of the juveniles involved resided in Mt. Healthy City.
“The bus traveled from Downtown Cincinnati to Mt. Healthy discharging the juveniles in the Hilltop Plaza without permission from the shopping center ownership,” police said.
Police were still investigating the incident, but determined that the original invitation for the gathering was posted on social media as an “open invite.”
Police did not name the parents responsible, although they have been identified and will be charged in violation of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s orders. The police also said they were in consultation with the prosecutor’s office about possibly filing additional charges against parents and others involved.
“Parents – it is your responsibility to manage your children. Mount Healthy Police will not tolerate blatant law violations especially when such action endangers our community, our officers, and public health,” the police said. “The Hilltop Plaza is not public property and should not be used without the permission of the owners.”
DeWine announced on Facebook on Dec. 11 that the state’s Department of Health will be extending its 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew order until Jan. 2, 2021.
Hamilton County is under Level 3 “red” status, indicating a public health emergency with “very high exposure and spread” of COVID-19.
Apart from staying at home, Ohio’s safety protocol advises residents to wear masks, keep interactions short and well distanced, celebrate small, and limit travel, among others. /ra
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