Police & Fire

Sparta Residents Face Multiple Charges for Hosting Underage Drinking Party

b05eab47f045fc888b1c_IMG_9609__800x533_.jpg
Credits: Jennifer Dericks
b05eab47f045fc888b1c_IMG_9609__800x533_.jpg

SPARTA, NJ – Sparta parents face multiple charges for hosting an underage drinking party which ended with a 15 year-old boy in the hospital. 

On April 23 Sparta police received several complaints of juveniles “committing acts of criminal mischief” to mailboxes and light posts on Valley View Trail around 9:50 p.m. 

A resident called police and an ambulance when one of the youths who was running away on Partridge Lane ran into a mailbox and injured himself police report.

Sign Up for E-News

Before help arrived, Sparta residents Daniel and Karen Gitelman came to the injured juvenile.  Over the objection of the resident who had called police, the Gitelmans picked up the injured boy and brought him back to their home on Westgate Drive, police said..

When Sparta Cpl Robert Fraser and Officer Taylor May arrived, with a Sparta ambulance, the man who called them explained that the Gitlemans had taken the injured boy back to their home.

Cpl Fraser and PO May went to the Gitelmans home where they were met at the front door by Daniel Gitelman.  He told the police officers that the injured boy had been picked up and taken home by his mother, police said. 

The officers and ambulance squad were in the process of leaving to go to the boy’s home when Daniel Gitelman came back out of the house.  He told the responders that the boy “was in fact on his back screen porch.” 

The rescue personnel found the boy “face down on the floor, unconscious with blood coming out of his nostrils and scrapes and bruises on his forehead.” The 15 year-old was then transported to Newton Medical Center by Sparta First Aid Squad and the Paramedics from St Clare’s according to police.

He was admitted for alcohol poisoning and was released on Sunday afternoon according to police.

While the boy was being loaded into the ambulance, Sparta police received an additional call from a resident of the same neighborhood.  The neighbor said, while they were assisting the injured boy in the front of the house, several other youths were running out of the back door.

Sparta police officers responded.  While searching for the juveniles they found several partially empty containers of alcohol “strewn about neighboring lawns and surrounding streets.”  Two drunk youths were taken into protective custody.  They were transported to Sparta Police Department headquarters and turned over to their parents police said.

Cpl Fraser returned to the Gitelman home, asking for their help in identifying the youths who fled.  Cpl Fraser explained they wanted to be sure they were all safe and returned home to their parents especially in light of the one boy who had been found injured and unconscious. According to police Karen Gitelman refused to help.

Less than an hour later the Gitelmans arrived at police headquarters with a list of names of the other youths.  Police said by that time they had identified about a dozen others who had attended the party and were in the process of locating them and notifying their parents. 

The two-week investigation into the “underage alcohol party at the Gitelman residence” was conducted by Det Brian Hassloch.  He interviewed the juveniles and the neighbors who had property damage.

Daniel and Karen Gitelman were charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Obstructing the Administration of Law and Hosting an Underage Drinking Party.   

According to Det Hassloch the Gitelmans assumed the responsibility for the of the 15 year-old and he came to harm, making him an abused or neglected child.  New Jersey statute Chapter 6 Title 9 is relevant in this case because the Gitelmans came and took the injured child away “from the scene where medical aid was responding” and brought him back to their home at 31 Westgate Drive.  This situation was further exacerbated by the facts that the boy was brought to the home “incapacitated due to alcohol consumption” and Daniel Gitelman’s lying to police caused a delay in receiving medical attention.

Lying to the police, hindering them from doing their job, in this case stopping them from rendering aid to the incapacitated boy, is considered obstruction. 

Hosting an Underage Drinking Party is self-explanatory.  In this case the homeowners, the Gitelmans, allowed their home to be available to minors to drink alcohol.

The Gitelmans turned themselves into the Sparta Police Department headquarters where they were placed under arrest at 10 a.m. on Thursday.  They were charged and released.  They have their first court appearance in Superior Court in Newton on May 11 at 8:30 a.m. 

Request for clarification about Sparta Police Department policy regarding hosting underage drinking, Operations Division Commander Lt John Paul Beebee said, “This is a very serious issue.  It is not about curtailing anyone’s fun; it is about public safety.  It is against the law for anyone under the age of 21 to drink alcohol.  Period. 

“Nobody has the authority to allow anyone under 21 to drink.  You cannot just say you are collecting their keys so they don’t drive and then let them drink.

“They must be supervised.  Just as you supervise your own children. Homeowners have to realize they assume liability for anyone that they allow on their property.  They are responsible for their behavior. If something happens they will be liable.”

According to police the investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be added.  

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Sparta

Plane Crashes into Lake Aeroflex in Sussex County Park

April 23, 2018

NEWTON, NJ—A one-maned plane crashed into Lake Aeroflex in Kittatinny Valley State Park around 11:30 this morning.

“I heard the plane cut out, then I saw it turn left and flatten out, and then it landed in the lake,” passerby Justin Leyman said. “It took the rescue crews about a minute or so to get the pilot out of the lake.

The plane was completely ...

Sparta Police: Blocked Plate Ends with Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ – A Phillipsburg man pulled over for a traffic stop, ended up facing drug charges on April 11.  Around 7:55 p.m. on Route 15 Sparta Police Officer Steven Guido stopped a silver Saturn Ion for having an obstructed license plate, police report.

Charles Williams, 29, was driving with two passengers in the car.  When speaking with Williams, Guido smelled marijuana in the ...

Sparta Police: Running a Red Light ends with Drug Charges

SPARTA, NJ – A man stopped for driving through a red light on Route 15 wound up facing drug charges.  On March 30 Sparta Police Officer Thomas Herd pulled over Steven Lassends, 27in a black Infinity, on Route 15, police say.

When the officer spoke with the Montague resident, Herd smelled raw marijuana.  Herd, with the assistance of Sgt. Pensado, Cpl. Antonello and Police ...

The Issue of Alternatives to Elected School Boards

April 14, 2018

The time of electing local school boards should come to an end. According to the National School Boards Association, “the local school board is a critical public link to public schools. Whether elected or appointed, school board members serve their communities in several important ways. First and foremost, school boards look out for students. Education is not a line item on the school ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_40961ffeaba6e615ae3b_img_9102

Tue, April 24, 7:30 PM

Sparta

Sparta Township Council Meeting

Government

Sun, April 29, 3:30 PM

Codey Arena, West Orange

Girls Try Hockey Free Clinic

Sports

Fri, May 4, 7:00 PM

Sparta Evangelical Free Church, Sparta

Veritas Christian Academy presents The Music Man

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_1d32c56f1d9651d97a4d_4571683b0fc541ec405e_360_x_300_image_for_website_posts_copy

Sun, May 6, 7:00 AM

Liberty State Park, Jersey City

11th Annual Susan G. Komen North Jersey Race for ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_59b77f3aedb9c701f6a4_sparta_historical_society

Thu, May 10, 6:00 PM

First Presbyterian Church of Sparta, Sparta

Creating a Pollinators Garden - Talk & Plant Sale

Education Home & Garden

Sun, May 13, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Sun, May 27, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Sun, June 10, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Life Along the Wallkil River

Education

Newton Council Candidates Call for Elections to be Moved

April 12, 2018

NEWTON, NJ – Four candidates for the Town of Newton Council have the same idea; move the election for council members to the November general elections.  Candidates Matt Dickson and Jason Schlaffer and Ludmilla Mecaj and Wayne Levante just do not agree on how to make that happen.

As a Faulkner Act town, Newton originally established their non-partisan elections to be held separately ...

Buying a Home Is Cheaper Than Renting in Majority of US

Great news for first-time New Jersey home buyers! The results of the 2018 Rental Affordability Report from ATTOM show that buying a median-priced home is more affordable than renting a three-bedroom property in 54% of U.S. counties analyzed for the report.

The updated numbers show that renting a three-bedroom property in the United States requires an average of 38.8% of income.

The least ...

Home Buying Myths Slayed

Team Nest Builder wants YOU to know the truths about buying a New Jersey home!

Some Highlights:


The average down payment for first-time homebuyers is only 6%!


Despite mortgage interest rates being over 4%, rates are still below historic numbers.


88% of property managers raised their rents in the last 12 months!


The credit score requirements for mortgage ...

Buy A Home To Build Your Family's Wealth

Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate, on average, by 3.6% per year and to grow by 18.2% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. Team Nest Builder wants you to understand what that means for homeowners and their equity positions.

As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home ...

Now’s the Time to Buy Your NJ Luxury Home

House no longer fits your needs? Planning on buying a New Jersey luxury home? Now is the time to do so!

Recently, the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing released its Luxury Market Report which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.  The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds the number of people searching to purchase these ...

Buy a Home NOW Before Mortgage Rates Climb Higher

Whether you’re a buyer searching for your first home, or a homeowner looking to move up to your next home, Team Nest Builder knows you should pay attention to where mortgage interest rates are heading.

Over the course of 2018, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, rates increased from 3.95% in the first week of January to 4.40% in the first week of April.

At ...

6 Simple Decorating Tricks for Your NJ Home

Ever watched “Trading Spaces” and wondered, “How do they pull together a beautiful room so quickly?”  Team Nest Builder knows! Read on for these 6 simple decorating tricks from the newly relaunched “Trading Spaces” stars.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference they make in your New Jersey home!

Let Your Heart Choose Your Art

Laurie Smith ...

A Special Performance by The Mental Health Players Raises Awareness of Mental Health Issues

April 23, 2018

In recognition of National Mental Health Awareness Month in May, the Mental Health Association of Essex and Morris, NAMI Sussex and Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services are coming together to sponsor a special performance by The Mental Health Players. The Mental Health Players is a group of volunteer performers who use theatrical improvisation and role playing to bring the ...