Parents who rented a party bus for their child’s 14th birthday face charges after 60 maskless kids crammed onto the vehicle and then got into several fights after they were dropped off, police in Ohio said.
The incident occurred Saturday night when officers on patrol saw an unmarked bus enter the Hilltop Shopping Center in Mount Healthy, about 15 miles north of Cincinnati.
The police department said in a Facebook statement that the bus traveled from Cincinnati to Mount Healthy and dropped off the group without permission from the owners of the shopping center.
Police said the group was not wearing masks or trying to maintain social distancing.
“Shortly thereafter, several fights broke out which necessitated calls for assistance from other police agencies,” the Mount Healthy Police Department said in a Facebook statement. “One juvenile attempted to strike Mt. Healthy Police Officer Dunn and was arrested.”
The department said that officers told the bus driver to let the group back on, but the driver refused and drove away “leaving the crowd of approximately 60 juveniles in a very agitated state for officers to deal with.”s
“Officers worked over the next hour to break up numerous fights and distance the juveniles,” police said.
The kids, who are not Mount Healthy residents, were told to call their parents for transportation.
The Mount Healthy Police Department said that officers eventually learned that the bus had been rented to celebrate one of the children’s birthdays. The parents, who have not been identified, posted a notice on social media saying the gathering was an “open invite,” according to police.
The parents will be charged with violating Gov. Mike DeWine’s executive order. Police are also talking with the prosecutor’s office about filing additional charges against the parents and anyone else involved.
“Parents – it is your responsibility to manage your children. Mount Healthy Police will not tolerate blatant law violations especially when such action endangers our community, our officers, and public health,” the police department said. “The Hilltop Plaza is not public property and should not be used without the permission of the owners.”