Ohio parents are facing charges after renting a party bus for their 14-year-old's birthday, flouting local public health guidelines and curfews amid the ongoing pandemic.
Just before 10 p.m. local time on Saturday, Dec. 12, officers "observed a large, unmarked bus" stop at the Hilltop Shopping Center parking lot and let off "numerous" children, according to the Mount Healthy Police Department. The kids, police say, were not wearing masks or following social distancing measures, and "several fights broke out which necessitated calls for assistance from other police agencies."
One child was arrested after they "attempted to strike" a police officer.
Police say the driver of the bus fled the scene and left behind approximately 60 kids after the driver "disregarded the officers' command to reboard the juveniles." Mount Healthy PD described the kids, who were not from the city, as being "in a very agitated state for officers to deal with."
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"Officers worked over the next hour to break up numerous fights and distance the juveniles," say police. "Officers, trying to maintain order, directed the juveniles to socially distance themselves and contact their parents for transportation."
Officers soon figured out that a parent had arranged for a "party bus" to pick up children in downtown Cincinnati for a child's 14th birthday celebration, transporting the teens to Mount Healthy, about 16 miles away.
An invitation was circulated on social media, advertising an "open invite" for the party bus excursion, police say.
"The parents responsible have been identified and will be charged with violations of the Governor’s Orders and we are consulting with the Prosecutor’s Office in hopes of adding additional criminal charges for the parents and the others involved," says the police department.
Law enforcement noted that Mount Healthy has a curfew in place regarding children being out in public at nighttime.
"Parents — it is your responsibility to manage your children," the police say in a statement on Facebook. "Mount Healthy Police will not tolerate blatant law violations especially when such action endangers our community, our officers, and public health."
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