I expect that his family is in agony. So, too, is the family of Loudon’s 18-year-old neighbor and rugby teammate, who hosted the party. Police say up to 50 teens converged on this house and were drinking while Loudon collapsed in a hallway after, police suspect, drinking too much alcohol.
That 18-year-old, Patrick Gabrielli, also known as P.J., was arrested Sunday on charges of contributing to the delinquency of someone under 18 and furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of 21 years. Gabrielli was booked into county jail in Martinez and released on bail, the Contra Costa Times reports.
On Tuesday, police announced a second arrest, a 16-year-old. The boy, whose name was not released, was taken into custody Monday on suspicion of furnishing alcohol to a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, the Times says. He was released to the custody of his father.
I think it’s fair to assume that police are still investigating, putting together a picture of who excactly brought beer and hard liquor to the party and who, if anyone, was with Loudon when he was drinking or when he collapsed.
Frankly, I can’t imagine the police, or the public, being satisfied with this case ending with a couple of misdemeanor plea bargains. A young person died. I’m wondering if the police are looking to charge someone, anyone, with manslaughter or some other crime more directly related to Loudon’s death. ...
... Even if you can argue that Joseph may have made his own unfortunate choice to drink too much that night, and teen drinking and teen binge drinking is nothing new, either in an affluent community like Orinda or most anywhere else in the world.
A fair number of us, who grew up around here, all have our “war stories” about being teen-agers, going to parties, drinking, drinking to get drunk. I can admit to a few instances where I engaged in risky behavior as a teenager, not unlike the kids at the party where Loudon died. Fortunately, I got away with things unscathed; so did close friends of mine. However, in my senior year at Acalanes high School in Lafayette, there was a horrific alcohol-related accident on Highway 24 around New Year’s Eve. One girl, who was 15 or 16, was killed. A second girl, who was in my senior government class, was left paraplegic. She missed the rest of her senior year, but she made an appearance, in her wheelchair, at graduation.
Over the past couple years, in the wake of community concerns about out-of-control teen parties, the Orinda City Council adopted an ordinance to hold hosts of these parties, where alcohol is served to minors, criminally accountable.
Granted, the stiffest penalties these hosts face is a misdemeanor charge, a $1,000 fine, and possible six months in county jail. But I wonder if this is also a charge the police are looking into, in the place of or in addition to more serious charges against anyone more directly related to Loudon’s death.
But would this ordinance apply to the mother and stepfather of Gabrielli, who reportedly were away for the weekend when the party occurred? Or would it apply to Gabrielli? Or to someone else? Read the text of the ordinance yourself and see what you think.
Chapter 9.24 Illegal or Unruly Private Parties
In this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:
"Loud or unruly gathering" means a party or gathering of two or more persons where loud or unruly conduct occurs and alcoholic beverages are in the possession of, or are being consumed by, any person under twenty-one (21) years of age. Such a loud or unruly gathering is a nuisance. Provided, however, that this definition does not include conduct involving the use of alcoholic beverages that is protected by Article 1, Section 4 of the California Constitution.
"Person responsible" means the person who owns, rents, leases or otherwise has control of the premises where the party takes place. If the person responsible is under eighteen (18) years of age, then the parent or guardian of that person is
jointly and severally liable for the cost incurred for police services.
"Police services" means the law enforcement and crime prevention services provided by the City Police Department and includes the personnel and equipment costs for a police officer for the amount of time actually spent in responding to or in remaining at the party, the cost of medical treatment for any personnel injured during the response, and the actual cost of repairing city equipment or property which is damaged in the course of providing police services. (Ord. 07-08 § 2: prior code § 6-501)
9.24.020 Unlawful juvenile gathering on private property--Violation a misdemeanor.
A. No person may permit or host a loud or unruly gathering when that persons knows, or reasonably should know, that a person under twenty-one (21) years of age possesses or consumes an alcoholic beverage at the gathering. It is the duty of any person who hosts or permits a gathering to take all reasonable steps to prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages by any a person under twenty-one (21) years of age.
B. A violation of subsection
A of this section is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) or by imprisonment for a period of not to exceed six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. (Ord. 07-08 § 3: prior code § 6-502)
9.24.030 Police services at a party.
The person responsible for a loud or unruly gathering is liable for the cost of police services provided by the city, as defined in Section 9.24.010. Provided, however, that no cost shall be recovered under this section if those present at the loud or unruly gathering call for emergency services for an actual emergency. (Ord. 07-08 § 4: prior code § 6-503)
9.24.040 Cost recovery for police services--Debt to city.
The cost of the police services incurred under Section 9.24.030 is a debt owed to the city by the person responsible. The city may bring an action for collection of the debt. The debt bears interest at the rate of ten percent a year. Interest accrues form the due date stated on the billing. (Ord. 07-08 § 5)
9.24.050 Other remedies not precluded.
The misdemeanor penalty and recovery of the cost of police services authorized under this chapter do not preclude any other potential civil or criminal actions by
the city under any other provision of law, including but not limited to Penal Code Section 272 and Business and Professions Code Sections 25658, 25658.2 and
25662. (Ord. 07-08 § 6)