Break-in case nearly resolved
Sixteen out of 18 teenagers charged in connection with the vandalism of a home in Silver Creek have admitted to offenses including shoplifting and the illegal consumption of alcohol, Summit County Attorney David Brickey said.
One of the two remaining suspects is expected to appear at a hearing scheduled Friday in 3rd District Juvenile Court in the Snyderville Basin.
"The two remaining have had issues about hiring counsel," Brickey explained.
So far no defendants in the case have requested a court-appointed attorney, he said.
"What that says is that the parents of children in Summit County are very, very concerned about their children’s safety, rights and that they learn from this," Brickey said.
The charges against the group stemmed from an incident Oct. 3 at a vacant house on Whileaway Road West, which involved the arrests of several juveniles after they caused significant damage while partying inside the house without permission. They smashed holes in the walls, clogged pipes and peed on the carpet.
"We had parents saying, ‘If this were my house, I would be livid,’" Brickey said.
Offenses the teens were accused of committing included criminal mischief, trespassing, illegal possession/consumption of alcohol and shoplifting. The names of juvenile defendants are usually not published in The Park Record.
Teenagers who have settled their cases were ordered to complete community service hours, pay restitution and apologize to Jim and Vicky Fitlow, the owners of the damaged home.
Juveniles charged in the case attend Park City High School and live on the West Side of Summit County.
"Some of them have been very cooperative with law enforcement and through their cooperation we were able to learn some new facts that we are still following up on," Brickey said in a telephone interview Monday.
Nestled along the backside of the Wasatch Range, the Park City area might seem quaint. Brickey, however, described a dark side of the small town.
"We’re hearing about things that juveniles are doing that they shouldn’t be doing," Brickey said.
Information about people who distribute drugs in Summit County was provided to officers by defendants in the vandalism case, he said.
"We’ve also been finding out who has been providing the juveniles with alcohol," Brickey added. "Juveniles have a tendency to know what other juveniles are doing and they are always willing to cooperate if they know it will have a favorable result."
Some teenagers in Summit County use marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine, Brickey said.
"What’s going on on the western side of Summit County is also going on on the East Side," he said. "I think every parent would like to think that their kids, as they are growing up, are limited to the exposure to drugs and alcohol. When other people are peddling these substances to our children, parents do not like it."
Undercover narcotics detectives are following up on the tips.
"Anytime we investigate juvenile crimes, we go into it with the objective of trying to learn as much as we possibly can about unsolved cases and about cases that we would have no knowledge of," Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said. "When it comes to juveniles, there are always a lot of unsolved cases and we want to know what’s gong on."
Adults who have provided drugs or alcohol to children will not get off easy, Edmunds explained.
"They are going to be held criminally responsible," he said. "Since I have been sheriff we have had juveniles who have died because they have overindulged in drugs and alcohol provided to them by adults. For an adult to so recklessly endanger a minor by providing them alcohol or drugs, in my mind, that is unforgivable."
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