Indiana excise police find 80 minors at Indy bar

March 17, 2013

Police arrested 80 minors early Sunday after a raid on an Indianapolis bar found patrons as young as 13.

Officers from the Indiana State Excise Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's Nuisance Abatement Unit raided the Early Bird Bar & Grill on the city's northwest side around 1:45 a.m., Cpl. Travis Thickstun said.

Police had gone to the bar to investigate a flyer advertising a 13-year-old girl's birthday party, he said.

They arrested 80 minors for being in a tavern, Thickstun said. More than a dozen also were charged with illegal consumption or possession of alcohol. One person was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor for bringing her 13-year-old sister — not the girl celebrating a birthday.

The juveniles were released to the custody of their parents, Thickstun said.

Excise officers cited the bar for 80 counts of allowing a minor to loiter and one count of altering floor plans without approval, Thickstun said.

Indianapolis police cited the bar and bartender Garcia Martinez, 27, of Indianapolis, for violating three city ordinances: No dance hall permit, allowing minors to loiter and allowing minors to violate curfew, Thickstun said.

The bar doesn't have a published telephone number and management could not be reached for comment. Martinez also does not have a published telephoned number.

Excise Police Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said his agency continue to work with IMPD "and other agencies across the state to curb the access and sale of alcohol to minors.

"Moreover, Excise officers will continue to work with the alcoholic-beverage industry to ensure voluntary compliance with the law. But blatant violations like those reported here will result in immediate enforcement action," Strittmatter said in a prepared statement.

Excise Police will seek to have the bar's alcoholic-beverage permit revoked when the case is reviewed by the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission, Thickstun said.


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