- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 8, 2016

An Ohio judge handed down sentences Wednesday to more than three dozen adults who were arrested over the weekend at a wild Amish party about 90 miles south of Cleveland.

The 38 adults, each between the ages of 18 and 20, were among a group of 73 partygoers taken into custody after police responded to multiple calls concerning a party in Hardy Township.

Two undercover police officers were dispatched to the event Saturday evening and paid a $20 entry fee before discovering several underage teens drinking alcohol, Wooster’s Daily Record newspaper reported Wednesday.

“They also saw a couple of kids lying on the ground vomiting and several kids that appeared to be passed out in the grass and around the vehicles,” Holmes County Assistant Prosecutor Christine Williams told the newspaper.

The officers estimated more than 1,000 people were at the party and said that 21-year-old guest who had traveled from out of state told them that “80 percent of the party was probably underage drinkers.”

A total of 43 officers from at least seven law enforcement agencies and the Holmes Fire Department were deployed to break up the party, which carried into Sunday morning, the newspaper reported.

In addition to the 38 adults, 35 juveniles were apprehended and held at the Holmes County’s Sheriff’s Office until they could be picked up by a parent, according to the newspaper. Authorities have not yet decided whether they will face charges.

The adults on Wednesday each received a 10-day suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay a $250 fine and court costs after pleading either guilty or no contest to charges of underage alcohol consumption, the Daily Record reported.

“Whether they’re Amish, English or Chinese, we’re going to have the same approach for everybody,” Prosecutor Steve Knowling told the newspaper.

Nonetheless, he acknowledged that the lack of countywide zoning or permitting processing for large events like Saturday’s party presents a challenge for law enforcement, the Daily Record reported.

“It’s like the Wild West. They can do whatever they want,” the prosecutor said.

The Daily Record reported previously that two partygoers had been taken to a local hospital for alcohol-related illnesses and that a few attendees faced charges of resisting arrest. It was not immediately clear if those charges were dropped as a result of the pleas entered Wednesday.

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