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'Party patrols' lead to big raids

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GREENFIELD — Newly implemented “party patrols” have resulted in five raids of gatherings with underage drinkers in the past three weeks, the latest of which sent 22 people to jail.

The Hancock County Underage Drinking Task Force added party patrols to its enforcement operations in March, putting officers out on the streets with the sole purpose of finding kids getting into trouble with alcohol.

That happened twice during the weekend, when officers busted two parties and arrested 22 people, including three juveniles.

The team was dispatched to a party in Greenfield around 12:30 a.m. Sunday after dispatchers received two anonymous 911 calls reporting underage drinking at a home in the 1100 block of East First Street.

Officers who responded knocked on the door, and the woman who opened it was holding a bottle of vodka. The woman, later identified as Amy Chitwood, admitted to officers she was 20 years old.

Police arrested eight people at the first party, and just as they were rounding up the suspects, they received word of a fight happening in the street outside a party in McCordsville.

Police arrived at the home in the 6700 block of West Philadelphia Drive in McCordsville around 1:30 a.m. There were 25 people there, and 14 were arrested for underage drinking, police said. Three of them were juveniles, who face juvenile charges but were allowed to be picked up by their parents.

The remaining 19 defendants spent the night in the Hancock County Jail

The Daily Reporter does not publish the names of juvenile suspects. The adults arrested were as follows: Jacob L. Gibson, 18, Greenfield; John M. DeWitte, 20, Greenfield; Searra P. Flynn, 20, Greenfield; Cheyenne J. Cooper, 18, Greenfield; Carley A. Robinson, 18, Greenfield; Amy L. Chitwood, 20, Greenfield; Brooke Doerflein, 18, Greenfield; Alexa Grimes, 18, Greenfield; Dayana Guerrero, 20, Indianapolis; Makenzie L. Ford, 19, New Palestine; Adrian Hurst, 18, McCordsville; Victoria Roska, 18, Indianapolis; Timishea Lewis, 18, Indianapolis; Dayanny Hernandez, 19, Indianapolis; Carl G. Verbarg, 18, Indianapolis; Maurice Cunningham, 20, Indianapolis; Robert Groves, 20, Indianapolis; Tony Carter, 20, Indianapolis; and Joshua Garcia, 18, Indianapolis.

Tim Retherford, executive director of Neighborhoods Against Substance Abuse, said word about the task force has been spreading among young adults in the county.

“I think having the officers out working these patrols and working with the task force is having an impact in our community,” he said. “Most importantly, we’ve had a couple parties we know were canceled because the task force found out about it.”

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