Frat party raid leads to 51 arrests

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Troy University has temporarily suspended a fraternity pending its investigation into an ABC raid at an off-campus party that led to more than 50 arrests.

Herbert Reeves, dean of students at Troy, said “a little over half” the 51 people arrested early Wednesday were either Troy students or those scheduled to begin classes in the fall. The individuals were arrested after the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control board raided a party at The Pines restaurant in downtown Troy. The party, reportedly hosted by Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, had been approved by the university, Reeves said.

“It was a social event for the fraternity,” he said. “Any time a there’s an official function or we approve an event, we ask them to abide by the laws of the state.”

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Lt. Thomas Price of the ABC said agents received a call a call Tuesday night that minors were consuming alcohol at a party at The Pines restaurant.

“Within two minutes of our going in the front door, we arrested the first person,” Price said about 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Troy Police said 51 people, including one juvenile, had been charged with 52 offenses. All were charged with minor in possession of alcohol. One individual faces a second charge of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance (marijuana).

Price said early Wednesday he believed more than 300 people attended the party, although that number has not been confirmed.

“They were upstairs, downstairs, outside … even on the roof,” Price said, explaining that four individuals fled to the rooftop when the raid began. “Unfortunately, they couldn’t get back down … so we had to call in the City of Troy ladder truck to help them get down.”

Sandi Garrett, owner of The Pines, said she did not know exactly how many people attended the private party. “I had two bartenders on duty, and they said there weren’t 300 people there.”

Garrett said the party began at 10 a.m. and she believed the fraternity members had voluntarily stopped admitting people by 11 p.m. She also said that per her rental agreement, she required the fraternity to provide its own security and to check for IDs at the door. “They brought along their own security, two Troy University Police officers.”

Garrett, who has owned The Pines for 14 years, said she frequently rents a portion of the restaurant to fraternities or sororities for functions. “We’ve had lots of events, date nights, here and they typically start at 8 or 9 p.m. and include heavy hors d’oeuvres.”

In this case, Garrett said, the fraternity specifically requested a later starting time for the party. “They had it scheduled from 10 to 1 a.m.,” she said.

Garrett also said she has a meeting scheduled Friday with representatives of the ABC board. “I really don’t know what will happen.”

Reeves said the university was still investigating to determine which students were involved in the incident. Any who were charged would face the same disciplinary action, he said, which could include probation. Three university athletes, all football players, were among those arrested.

“We’re disappointed in the fact that a situation like this has happened,” Reeves said. “Our stance is that we ask our students to comply with the laws of Alabama.”

Price said the bust “is the largest in my 18 years with the state ABC board.”

Chief Anthony Everage of the Troy Police said those charged in the bust were being processed and released from the city jail early Wednesday morning.