Underage Drinkers Put on Ice


Unexpected consequence of teen drinking: freezing to death.

Police who busted a Fort Lee, N.J., house party over the weekend forgot a van full of suspects—some of them teens—for more than 12 hours, leaving them locked up and parked outside in the freezing cold.

Officials only realized what had happened after a passerby heard screams and banging from the police van, NBC New York has learned.

Police had raided the house party at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday because of noise complaints from neighbors, according to Fort Lee borough attorney Lee Cohen.

Temps on Saturday morning were in the 20s and 30s.

NEXT: The Case for Health Savings Accounts

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  1. Skinner: Faster, Willie, faster! Okay, the plan is, we give the bullies the mountain bikes, and no one gets sued!
    Willie: And if they’re dead sir?
    Skinner: Then we ride these bikes to Mexico, and freedom Willie! Freedom!
    Willie: Yeah, right, I’m turning you in at the first toll.

    See? Their is a Simpsons quote to brighten every situation, no matter how tragic.

    1. “THEIR is a Simpsons quote…”??? Somebody’s not going to the National Grammar Rodeo in Canada.

      1. Me fail English? That’s unpossible.

      2. On a slightly related topic, a sad day for chicago beer.

        1. There was much gnashing of teeth and rending of garments amongst the Nashville hophead community. If they can leave Bourbon County alone, I can live with it….

  2. Huh. I just now read this story over at Drudge and was coming here to post the linky-dink.

  3. We can only hope Fort Lee’s new Scared Stiff Program will have turned these troubled teens around on the irresponsibility of underage drinking.

    1. Nevermind. I read the whole story and see that it did not, in fact, work at all. The little fuckers turned into vandals first chance they got. Urinated all over public property.

      1. Also, instead of scaring them straight, it turned them gay:

        “‘We had to huddle up together and just share body heat pretty much,’ said another boy, Liam.”

        1. Of course, that doesn’t mean that “Scared Stiff” wasn’t a success.

      2. Which also netted them a photo in the “sex offender” registry.

  4. Overheard at the sock hop

    Teen 1: Woah man, did you go to Steve’s party last week?
    Teen 2: Naw man, what happened?
    Teen 1: Coolest party ever!!!

    Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.

  5. Oh I do hope no dedicated public employees lose their jobs over this little oversight.

    “Endangering the lives of a bunch of non-violent offenders! That’s three-days paid leave!”

    1. And now they’re gonna sue! You’re gonna have to pay [1/number of taxpayers of] that settlement!

  6. I thought it was the WW2 POW films that had “30 Days in the cooler” as the default punishment.

    1. Are all American officers so ill-mannered?

  7. Radley is on a nutpunch rampage today!

  8. Not that it really matters, but where was the van left? At the house where the party was? At the police station? The story doesn’t say. It just says, in that wonderful passive voice, “Several kids were rounded up and driven away in the van. Then, as temperatures dropped into the 20s and 30s, they were forgotten.” So apparently the person who drove the van just walked away without unloading the prisoners.

    1. I mean, that would require Memento levels of forgetfulness.

      1. Seriously, you cannot expect the officer to drive the van AND unload the prisoners. We look down on such slave labor tactics around here.

        1. What’s more, the cops were required by their contract to leave as soon as their shift was over, and because of budget cuts there was no one else available to take over.

          Unless the city government puts safety first and pays for more cops tragic incidents like this will continue to happen.

      2. That’s what I was thinking. How does an entire group of officers forget about an entire group of criminals they’ve already arrested? I mean, I would understand if they had shot them, but not remembering them baffles me.

        1. It was probably just PC. Not as exciting as something that you can really fuck up someone’s life over.

          1. They might have all been libertarians; it’s easy to forget your political party 😉

            1. What the fuck is that even supposed to mean?

        2. I suspect they didn’t forget — perhaps this vanload was particularly “resistive” and needed to be taught a lesson, in the opinion of the good officers.

          1. ‘Mommy, didn’t that police officer’s mommy say he shouldn’t do that to people?’

    2. It just says, in that wonderful passive voice,

      Cops never do bad things. Bad things just sometimes happen near them.

      1. “Nobody pushed him down the steps. He fell.”

  9. Radio Balko, you aren’t going to do a Tim Cavanaugh, and compare kids locked in a van to Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment?

    1. These kids were probably innocent. Mandela was a terrorist.

  10. This is the issue that started my progress from conservative to libertarian. It amazes me to this day the hypocrisy on this issue that older people have, people who grew up when the drinking age was 18. I even had a “friend” in college, who drank underage but nevertheless thought the law shouldn’t change.

    1. There’s actually quite a few university presidents coming out in favor of the 18 year drinking age. The drinking age being 21 causes a bunch of problems. I know my friends and I are much more responsible when we go out to a bar than when we binge drink in a basement. And freshmen girls would be way safer at a bar than at a frat party.

      1. Ive wondered how “safe” freshmen girls want to be.

        1. Depends on the girl.

        2. Remember people, it’s me who’s the misogynist. Yessiree bob.

        3. I wasn’t safe in bars around freshman girls when the drinking age was 18.

    2. There shouldn’t be a drinking age, period. If we trust 15 year olds not to kill themselves by abusing Drano and paint thinner, we should trust them not to kill themselves with alcohol.

      1. When the drinking age was 18 there really wasn’t a drinking age at all.
        Dope was practically legal too.
        The 1970s was a glorious time to be a child.

  11. the only time I’ve ever been harassed by cops in my adult life was in Ft. Ree. They are some of the worst cops in the state.

  12. Noise complaints: phony excuse for claiming harm against your property. Fuck off and deal with it.

    1. Nice. Remember that when you’re trying to sleep at 4:00 a.m. and we’re next door running leaf blowers and wood chippers.

      1. I used to have an across-the-street neighbor who would mow his lawn starting at 5:00 AM every Saturday. He also did all his yard work in a speedo and weighed about 300 lbs. The guy was constantly working in his yard or working on other people’s cars in his driveway, except for the one day every month or two when someone from the worker’s comp office came by, then he was in a wheelchair with a neck brace.

  13. There is no way that the police forgot about these kids. It might be plausible for one police officer to forget about an arrest of a single person. But there were numerous police officers at the scene and undoubtedly multiple officers involved in arresting these kids. It is impossible that multiple officers would have forgotten about five people who are under arrest.

    It’s worth noting that the kids were all Korean while the police officers were white. The blue collar whites in Fort Lee are resentful of the fact that many wealthier Koreans are moving into Fort Lee from neighboring Palisades Park. Judging from the picture on-line, the owner of the house in which the party was held is rather wealthy. I am wondering if bigotry and class resentment played a role in this incident.

    1. It might be plausible for one police officer to forget about an arrest of a single person. But there were numerous police officers at the scene and undoubtedly multiple officers involved in arresting these kids. It is impossible that multiple officers would have forgotten about five people who are under arrest.

      Actually, that’s what makes the story plausible. One officer would have known it was his responsibility to deal with the prisoners. Multiple officers could each assume that someone else was handling the details.

      I didn’t say it was a good excuse. Whoever was the ranking officer should henceforth be walking a beat, or unemployed. But that won’t happen.

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  15. Where is Gregooooooo? Surely he should be here praising the cops for the heroic efforts against they violent criminals? Perhaps even bemoaning the lack of tanks?

  16. 2 hours, leaving them

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