59 kids drinking at party, parents arrested

October 11, 2011 2:34:57 PM PDT
It was a wild party, 59 teenagers were taken into police custody and plenty of others ran away.

The parents who organized the Sweet Sixteen are charged with providing the alcohol, but their attorney said they had no idea what was going on in their own home.

Friday night, neighbors say there were dozens of teens drinking outside of 56 Caruth Avenue in Elmwood Park.

The woman who owns the home says the parents told her there was going to be a Sweet Sixteen.

"A bunch of kids came and it got out of control and the parents should never allowed drinking in the first place," said Sandy Porporino, the landlord.

Joe Weglarz lives across the street.

He says he found teens sitting on a bench in his yard, drinking.

"I knew they were drinking, it was obvious, there were crushed beer cans over here," Weglarz said.

A father called police when he came to pick up his 14-year-old daughter from the party and found her lying in the bushes, drunk.

Police came and took 59 teens, ages 14-17, into custody and arrested the parents throwing the party, Diana Lozano and Humberto Costanzo-Gil.

"When there are 60 kids in the house, you can't say you didn't know they were drinking. You have to be responsible and know what's happening in your house," said Lt. Brian DiPasquale, of the Elmwood Park Police Department.

A high school junior who was invited to the party asked that we not show his face, for fear of retribution.

He says the girl who was turning 16 told him there would be alcohol.

"She said her parents were home, she didn't say they'd be supplying it, she said they didn't care," the teen said.

The defense attorney for the parents tells Eyewitness News that most of the drinking was happening outside and, "My clients did not provide alcohol or even have any knowledge of alcohol being consumed."

Even some of the partygoers are skeptical.

"If you're having a party it's kind of weird that your parents don't know what's going on, I know my parents wouldn't allow that at all," a teen said.

38 kids issued summonses, they will pay a $300 fine and do community service.

The parents will be back in court on November 15.