9 cited for underage drinking at party

Several students of North Central College in Naperville face potential disciplinary action, after being charged with illegally drinking alcoholic beverages during an off-campus party over the weekend that police said drew an estimated 50 revelers.

No illnesses or injuries were reported following the gathering Friday night at a house on the 100 block of West Franklin Avenue, just north of downtown Naperville.

Sgt. Steve Schindlbeck said police were called to the area just before 11 p.m. to investigate a report of a fistfight on the street outside the home. While that report proved to be unfounded, officers heard loud music reverberating from the house and went there to investigate, Schindlbeck said Tuesday via e-mail.

Police discovered a party being attended by about 50 young adults. Schindlbeck said the guests included an unknown number of North Central students and others.

Schindlbeck said police began checking the identifications of the party-goers and learned nine of those who had allegedly been drinking were between the ages of 18 and 20, or too young to be drinking legally.

Nicholas J. Bechtold, 18, was identified as being the party’s host, Schindlbeck said. He was ticketed under municipal ordinances for underage consumption of alcohol and for selling alcoholic beverages “to persons of non-age,” Schindlbeck said.

Eight other young men and women were cited for underage consumption of alcohol. Schindlbeck identified them as Hailey A. Clabough, 19; Vito J. Derango, 20; Taylor N. Esch, 20; Alexa N. Esposito, 20; Angela A. Kelley, 19; Michael T. Lebeau, 20; Michael J. Luciano, 18; and Ryan P. Maher, 20.

Schindlbeck said preliminary police reports concerning the matter did not include the revelers’ hometowns or indicate which of them are North Central students.

Ted Slowik, the college’s director of public relations and media relations, said school officials issued a campus safety bulletin after being made aware of the party. Campus safety officers assisted police on the scene, Slowik said Tuesday.

Slowik said it was his understanding police issued five tickets while sending the party-goers home. He said he did not know how many of the guests were enrolled at North Central.

In accordance with the rules and regulations outlined in the school’s handbook, Slowik said students who received tickets must appear before the college’s judicial committee, and are subject to possible disciplinary action. He said he could not comment on whether that potential discipline might involve suspension or expulsion from the college.

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