Underage party busted

Doug and Heather Der Vartanian were happy to go on vacation, knowing that they had someone to take care of their pets and watch their home while they were away.
Becky Vargo
Feb 7, 2013

They were distraught to find out the person taking care of their home hosted a party there while they were still on vacation.

Neighbors called police at about 10:37 p.m. Monday when they thought someone was breaking into the home in the 300 block of River Street. What police found was a party with about 30 people, said Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Chief Roger DeYoung.

“Of course, they all run when the police come,” said DeYoung, indicating there could have been more.

A 17-year-old Spring Lake teen was arrested that night for hosting a minor in possession of alcohol party, DeYoung said.

“He was supposed to be watching a house while the people were out of town,” DeYoung said.

In all, officers wrote four or five tickets for minors in possession of alcohol. There could be more to come, DeYoung said, as the incident is still under investigation.

The Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office is also reviewing possible other drug or alcohol charges, DeYoung said.

The homeowner said the house was trashed.

“You can imagine the amount of damage 35 teenagers can do with drugs and alcohol involved, Doug DerVartanian said. “We have dozens of pairs of shoes and coats at home left behind when people ran."

One parent stopped by to retrieve his child’s belongings, but the items were not being released yet, Der Vartanian said.

“We’re terribly disappointed in everybody who was involved,” he said.

Comments

LakerVille

Thanks. Great insight. Great job!

Yuuuup

I have read through this entire mess of comments, and I have to say that all if this is so embarraing to the community that I live in. Bottom line, the kids that were in the house that night were wrong in every way. That wasn't your house, and whether or not you participated in the activities going on there, you all should have known it was illegal. There were drugs there, there was a TON of alchohol there, there was sex game being played, and obsenities were written/drawn in a child's playroom. I feel horrible that this family was so violated. I don't think any one of you (if you are being honest) would appreciate someone coming into you home and sleeping in your bed while you weren't there. And to all the adults that have made comments about kids just being kids and making a mistake: have you ever thought that maybe kids make decisions they do because it is clear that's all you expect of them? What happened to holding our kids to higher standards? If you expect that all kids drink, you are only giving them a green light to participate in underage drinking, drugs, and sex. Bottom line, wrong is wrong-no excuses. You can't change the past, but you can make amends for it. Take responsibility.

Creedance

I'm guessing that most people are thinking like I am. This is not something worthy of putting in the newspaper. It's happened every weekend since 1960. It's not news. Sometimes the parties get broken up, sometimes they don't. Should the kids get punished? Of course. Should the homeowners realize that perhaps they put the wrong person in charge? Of course. I'm not condoning what the kids did, but I do understand it. Regardless of what was going on there isn't the point. A breach of trust was compromised. It looks like it was incorrectly handled by all involved. If there is a bigger story to it, maybe the Tribune should have printed that. However, as it's written, this isn't a story worthy of being in a newspaper. I initially commented because it was hilarious to me. Now, it looks like people are getting wrapped up in details that don't exist in the article. Some very over reacting comments. You get people like Yuuup who clearly are basing it off of hearsay and people like trytounderstand who was there but probably sugarcoating it. Then Markus and iamgod who are just the workhorses built to stir the pot. It's all very entertaining though.

Markus

Not your house, creedence. Not your kids. Not a whole bunch of people making excuses for trespassing against your family.

LakerVille

Awesome, very educated, intelligent comments. Why don't you investigate high school parties for the Tribune? Obviously this is a very important issue for you. Please devote the remaining 5% of your time that you are not spending on this. We need you to keep on top of this breaking news story.

LakerVille

Awesome, very educated, intelligent comments. Why don't you investigate high school parties for the Tribune? Obviously this is a very important issue for you. Please devote the remaining 5% of your time that you are not spending on this. We need you to keep on top of this breaking news story.

Yuuuup

To Creedance: nope, not heresay at all. Fact. Be careful before you judge!

Markus

...and Yuup is very aware of the situation.

Bytheshore4

Everyone on here who is arguing about the other kids who shouldn't have been in the house obviously didn't have a fun enough childhood to the point where they understand the situation at least a little bit. These kids won't grow up to be boring pessimists like you, Markus. Although they made some stupid and potentially consequent-able decisions, they are just being kids, and no one can take that from anyone.

Bytheshore4

Also, things like this have been happening every weekend in the tri-cities area for years, and whether the parties were busted by the cops or not, they are in no way news worthy. The tribune has nothing better to write about.

Markus

Wow. Spot on, bytheshore4. I have a big empty space in my heart becuase i never trespassed against a family, trashed their house, and blamed their neighbors. Really missed at part of my childhood. Guess i can just live vicariously through the comments of the idiots here.

LakerVille

Cool story. Nobody cares.

Markus

If i were the homeowners, and capable of pressing charges, i would be looking here to see if anyone was capable of showing remorse. I would bet the homeowners are. So far, what would they see? A whole lot of excuses from kids. The apologies are weak. They are an insult. Te parents commenting here cannot be relied upon to discipline their kids effectively if they condone this in any way shape or form.
If you are going to screw up in life, you had better be prepared to apologize properly. If you cant, you had better be prepared to be punished properly.

TryToUnderstand

Nothing I have said was sugar coated. And the phone conversation is between my parents, me, an the homeowners. It is not your place to be getting involved markus so stop. I'm not trying to make excuses for the kids who were present but we are dealing with the consequences and you trying to make the punishment harsher isn't doing anything. Maybe you should mind your own business and let us kids figure out what needs to be done on our own... How do you know that we all haven't already been planning something for the owners of te house? We are good kids who just happened to be in the wrong in this situation and we are willing to try to make it right. But it's not because of you markus.. It's because our parents raised us to know what is right and what is wrong. Like I already stated- we were wrong. No excuses at all.

Markus

You don't know my place. You don't know who I am. I am not trying to make a punishment harsher. I usually don't respond to these things.
I like the homeowners. Great family. Do you know who they are? Been introduced? Been to their house when they were there?
Let you kids figure it out? Really?
You probably are good kids. Actions speak louder than words. Your last letter seems to indicate you are beginning to understand something. Until you show up and put up, perhaps you should keep quiet.
I am not and was not in the wrong. You were. Thats what someone should do when they are in the wrong.
You spoke directly with the homeowners? Really?

LakerVille

Why do you care so much?

Markus

The owners are good friends. Known them for years. They are fine people that believed enough in a 17 year old to trust them with everything they owned. Then they get to read these articles and find, for the most part, they were violated and now get ridiculed. Why? They trusted a kid. Then, too many of you pile on and blame everyone but those responsible.
Know the owners, know their kids. I even know the dogs. Love them all very much, which I bet anyone that knows them does.
They all deserve much better than this. Probably deserve a better person arguing on their behalf than I. Don't know why they haven't responded, but Ill be finding out.
Some of the kids here are upset that their friends, what? Got in a little trouble at a party they should not have been at. Lost a pair of shoes? Had to possibly tell the truth to a parent?
Big deal. The owners both work for a living. They have a good marriage and wonderful kids. Great dogs too. All that takes work and discipline.Maybe a young person cant understand that or what was taken away. Too trusting? Maybe. These posts here will turn that around fast.
But go on, tell me again how hard it is to be a kid in Spring Lake, on vacation, and partying days and days on end. I bet there are kids in India, Africa, China that would love to be in your shoes.
I had a great deal of fun in life. College. Got great people in my life. Dont want them messed with, ridiculed when they do nothing wrong.

Maybe a few of you are feeling bad and resolving to do something good. I truly hope so.

LakerVille

What do the owners need? Can they not afford to fix this? No insurance? What? You are just on here crying about the owners and everyone is understanding that the owners got screwed. But you are coming across as you want to hang these kids on a cross. If the owners have things that need to be replaced and they can't afford it or whatever, then let us know, I am sure people would be willing to chip in. Until then, relax.

Markus

I think kids that went to the party should respect the owners when commenting. Never said anything different. What the hell are you reading?

Markus

I wouldnt speak on behalf of the owners, ever had someone in your house going through your things.? If you did, then you could tell me....but i bet you havent.

LakerVille

Yes, I lived in a big city and had my apartment robbed. I have also watched burglers break a window on my car and steal things out of my car. So I know the feeling. You are this mission for justice for the Owners and nobody has said a bad thing about them and for the most part the kids commenting appear sympathetic and some have even tried to reach out. The kids made a stupid, dumb, mistake and they will have to pay for that. However, it's none of your business. This is between the kids, their parents, and the owners.

When you stop drinking you should go back and look at the comments, because I can tell you a sober and reasonable person your comments paint you as a complete and total jack---. Pick a new fight, move on, get on with your life. Whatever you need to do but this is not your problem anymore. The cops, the parents, the owners, all have this under control. Move on, I am sure there are kids gearing up for a party tonight and you need to be out patrolling the roads to make sure this hooligans don't destroy anymore property.

I do wish you would post your name and address like you are begging everyone else.

Tootles.

Really

Great comments Trytounderstand. Very balanced and thoughtful. I think a positive group activity from the kids present at the party is a great idea. I hope you really are planning one. Hope this now puts all sides to rest...there are new stories out there. One I would like to see is the kids showing the community they are better than this episode.

Bytheshore4

Markus here has nothing better to do with his time than argue with teenagers on the online comments of a tribune article I guess

Markus

bytheshore4 has nothing better to do than write back. Get yourself a life.

thetruth

Markus first of all you are obviously an unedjucated looser that likes to rant to try and prove you point. You said that you would not trust any kid from spring lake but what you don't know is that spring lake is in the top 2% in the nation for academics and is full of trust worthy students. Underage drinking happens at any school you go to and im sure you could find hundreds of stories just like this around the nation. The fact that only 5 kids were drinking alcohol at his party of the so called 30 person party is pritty remarkable. Markus your an idiot and obviously had no friends in high school and probaly sat in your moms basement all weekend and touched yourself.

thetruth

Markus first of all you are obviously an unedjucated looser that likes to rant to try and prove you point. You said that you would not trust any kid from spring lake but what you don't know is that spring lake is in the top 2% in the nation for academics and is full of trust worthy students. Underage drinking happens at any school you go to and im sure you could find hundreds of stories just like this around the nation. The fact that only 5 kids were drinking alcohol at his party of the so called 30 person party is pritty remarkable. Markus your an idiot and obviously had no friends in high school and probaly sat in your moms basement all weekend and touched yourself.

sorryNOTsorry

We are not sorry the house would have been spotless in the morning all the drugs and alchohal would have been gone/consumed their dogs loved playing with us we took our shoes off when we came in. Only 4 out of 30 kids were drinking but that's only because we just got there more kids were coming and it was about to go off spring lake kids know how to party we do this every night we don't have school unfortunately we didn't know it wasn't the kids house and got boned. Oh yeah markus you are less educated than 90% of the kids that were there

Markus

Didn't say there were no good kids in Spring Lake. Quite the contrary. I know some good ones.
Personal attacks? How sad. I hope you are not the spokesman for your peers.

I think the homeowners deserve more respect on this forum. They were trespassed against. So were their kids. They were on a family vacation. Probably ruined it. Also ruined the vacation for any family they were with. Probably scared the kids- young children do react badly to these types of things. Why did this happen? So a bunch of kids could, what? Skip the bowling alley and party in private? Why did they have to do this? Is it more important for kids to party than for someone that earned the right through hard work to have a home where they feel secure? Where their kids feel secure?

I did say the last student article seemed to show some understanding. I would like to think the paper will go back and do an article wherein the kids that went to this party did something to benefit the people they trespassed against. I would imagine to homeowners want it put behind them. Wish more of you would post more like it. Dont fault the homeowners, the police or the neighbors, though. They didn't do anything wrong. They and their kids deserve better. I hope the young people here will do better in the future.

LakerVille

I don't think anyone is being disrespectful of the owners. There will be punishments for the kid and hopefully the owners are made whole. Do you need an apology or something? What are you fishing for here? Do you need a hug?

Markus

Not from you. Thanks, though, Lakerville.
I read too much blaming everyone but those responsible. Making light of the situation.

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