How the police learned of drinking at game

Published 9:31am Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The following is a copy of the Albert Lea Police Department report from the Friday night football game in which nine Rochester John Marshall students were cited for underage drinking or tobacco possession.

The Tribune has withheld the names of the students cited in the report. It is printing the report because drinking offenses on school grounds carry great community concern and so readers can see how the Albert Lea Police Department described what its officers encountered that night:

“On 9-21-12, I, Officer (Adam) Conn, was working the Albert Lea football game at Jim Gustafson Field. While I was working at the game I had an adult female come up to me and stated she wanted to speak with me but wanted to remain anonymous about what she was going to tell me.

“The female subject said when she came to the game she parked her car in the lot of the football field. While she was in the parking lot, she observed a black older car with kids from Rochester standing around the car. The female subject stated the kids were playing loud music and then she observed the kids pass around a bottle of booze and they drank from it. The female subject stated the kids then went into the football game and sat on the visitor side. The female subject stated the kids that were drinking were waving around the Rochester Rockets flag.

“I asked the female subject if she could show me where the vehicle was parked that they were all around. The female subject took me to the car and the license plate on the vehicle was MN RHW329, listing to (name withheld) of Rochester, Minn. I looked into the vehicle and observed in plain view an alcohol bottle that was lying on the floor behind the driver seat. I also observed a bottle of orange juice that was lying in the front seat, commonly used to mix with hard alcohol. I also observed what appeared to be a mixed drink in the center console of the vehicle. I advised the female subject I would look into the issue with the kids on the Rochester side of the field.

“At this time I advised my dispatcher I was going to need help at the football game due to there being a lot of kids on the Rochester side of the field. Officer (Adam) Hamberg arrived on scene and we went to the visitor section where the kids were waving around the flag. Officers made contact with one of the subjects, and we asked him if we could talk to him. Officers asked him if he owned the older black Chrysler and he stated no it was his friend’s, whom he had come to the game with. Officer asked him to point this subject out and he pointed at a male subject wearing a red jacket. The male subject was asked to come and speak with us and he complied. The male subject was ID as (name withheld). Officers asked (name withheld) if he was driving the black Chrysler and he stated yes. I advised him of the complaint and that I observed alcohol in his vehicle. I asked (name withheld) if he had been drinking and he stated a little bit. (Name withheld) went on to tell officers he was not the only one drinking and that there was a bottle being passed around amongst them all in the crowd.

“Officers at this time called for additional help since officers were going to have to give PBT tests to around 50 kids. Other officers arrived on scene and the kids were processed.”

The report then lists the names of each teenager cited. Only one was 18 years old, according to the report, and the rest were juveniles.

“Officer Hamberg was given consent from (name withheld) to go into his vehicle and get out the alcohol. Officer Hamberg removed the alcohol and took this as evidence. Officer Hamberg photographed the alcohol and placed it into evidence. The can of tobacco taken off of (name withheld) was also placed in to evidence.

“Officers spoke with all kids’ parents who were under the age of 18. The parents gave us permission to send their child back home with a sober party. The above subjects were asked where they got the alcohol from, but no one would state where. Officers cleared the scene at this time.”

The report was forwarded to the Rochester School District.