Police & Fire

Sparta Residents Face Multiple Charges for Hosting Underage Drinking Party

Credits: Jennifer Dericks

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 Police: Wanted Man Gets Additional Charges

July 18, 2018

SPARTA, NJ -  A man from Hackettstown with an active warrant faces additional charges when officers stopped him because the registered owner of the car had a suspended license.  On July 2 around 2 a.m. Police Officer Ericks Finley stopped a car registered to Shanicqui Nelson on Route 15 police said.

The driver Shaun Reid, 36 was also found to have a suspended license and an ...

Sparta Police: Road Rage and Racing on Route 15 End in Arrest

SPARTA, NJ – A man from Plainfield was stopped for racing on Route 15, going 93 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.  Sparta Police Officer Erick Finley was able to stop one of  two cars racing on July 6 around 11:45 p.m. police said.

Driving a four door Chevy, Santos Vides-Guardado, 21, told Finley that he and the other driver had gotten into an argument that led to the two men racing each ...

Sparta Police: Two Injured in Car Versus Motorcycle Accident

SPARTA, NJ — An accident on Route 15 with a motorcycle and a car sent two people to the hospital. On July 12 Sparta police responded to the crash at the intersection of Route 15 and Wilson Drive around 6:37 p.m. police report.

According to police, while turning left on to Wilson Drive from Route 15 north, Carmen Emery of Highland Lakes cut in front of Richard Keim on a Harley-Davidson ...

No Dog Beach on Lake Hopatcong?

July 9, 2018

Hello Editor, 
 I have spent considerable time trying to find somewhere on Lake Hopatcong to bring my dog for a swim.
What I have found is ridiculous - this lake has approximately 28 miles of shoreline and I found NO PLACE am allowed to bring him.  Am hoping you can make the public aware and maybe someone will know more than me and inform where dogs are allowed?
Many thanks for ...

Chemist Congratulates Sparta High School Chem Olympians

Congratulation to the ladies from Sparta High School who finished first and second in the Chemistry Olympics.

I am very pleased to see women succeeding in chemistry.

Martin Feil,

Newton, NJ
Retired Chemist and Chemistry Teacher

Upcoming Events


Wed, July 18, 10:00 AM

Paterson Board of Education , Paterson

Teacher Job Fair



Sat, July 21, 7:45 AM

Saint Kateri Parish, Sparta

Sussex County Blood Drive

Health & Wellness


Sat, July 21, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 21, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market


Sun, July 22, 1:00 PM

Van Kirk Homestead Museum, Sparta

Sussex County Views: The Art of Toni Chaplin

Arts & Entertainment


Mon, July 23, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, July 24, 7:00 PM

Kinnelon Public Library, Kinnelon

Northern NJ Libertarian Party Monthly Meeting



Fri, July 27, 10:00 AM

Sparta Public Library, Sparta

Watercolor Workshop

Arts & Entertainment


Sat, July 28, 8:00 AM

Newton Moose Lodge, Fredon

Newton Moose Lodge Sunday Breakfasts

Food & Drink


Sat, July 28, 9:00 AM

Sparta Health and Wellness parking lot, Sparta

Sparta Farmers Market

Newton High School FFA Students Dominate at State Convention

July 11, 2018

LONG BRANCH, NJ - The Newton FFA Chapter won several of their events at the 89th New Jersey State FFA Convention in May at Monmouth University. The students brought home several awards competing against the best in the state.

Freshman Kirk Avondoglio took first place in the state FFA Creed Public Speaking competition.  The event requires participants to recite the creed in front of a ...

US Junior Amateur: Chinn Earns Medalist and Top-seed honors, Misses Rain Delay, after Second Day of Stroke Play

July 18, 2018

Tuesday’s Second Round Scores, playoff participants (8 for 3 spots)

Wednesday’s Round of 64 matchups

SPRINGFIELD, NJ - Kelly Chinn of Great Falls, Va., continued his stellar play Tuesday morning and missed an afternoon four plus hour rain delay on arguably Baltusrol Golf Club’s toughest layout, the Lower Course.

After shooting a five under 66 on the Upper Course Monday, ...

Get Rid of Your E-Waste This Saturday in Sussex County

Team Nest Builder knows it’s easy for e-waste---tv sets, printers, laptops, etc.--to pile up. Here’s your opportunity to rid yourself of it in Sussex County! It’s the Sussex County Municipal Utilities Authority E-Waste Collection Event! The scoop:


Saturday, July 21st


7 am - 2 pm


Up to 5 Units per vehicle at no charge.  Scale charges for ...

4 Top Tips for Kitchen Remodels

Getting ready to remodel your New Jersey home's kitchen? Team Nest Builder shares these top 4 tips for maintaining your sanity (and budget)!

Expect the Unexpected

Even the best-laid plans go awry during a kitchen remodel--be prepared!  Add a 10% cushion to your finanical plan for problems that may arise. In case something happens, this could save your time and budget.

Make A ...

Get Out and Garden During FREE Open Gates Weekend

Team Nest Builder wants you to discover the beauty and diversity of Morris County’s Community Gardens through the people, plants, and planting techniques that make gardens thrive. It's Morris County Community Garden FREE Open Gates Weekend!

Tour the many gardens, discover how to start one in your town, and learn more about growing your own food. Enjoy food tastings and demonstrations ...

Homes More Affordable Today than 1985-2000

Concerned that your family will no longer be able to afford the most precious piece of the American Dream – your own home? Let Team Nest Builder assuage your fears...

It’s not just a home’s price that determines its affordability--it’s also the monthly cost determined by the price and the interest rate on the mortgage used to purchase it.

Today, mortgage interest ...

Don't Miss Out on this DOUBLE Sparta 4BR OPEN HOUSE Weekend

Team Nest Builder offers not one, but TWO enchanting homes this weekend---185 Milton Road on Saturday, and 28 Waters Edge on Sunday (1-3pm both days.)  Seeking the perfect Sparta home? Make plans today! Want to learn more? Read on!

185 Milton Road: A Stately Sparta 4BR 2.5 Bath on 6+ Beautiful Acres

You’ll fall in love with this gorgeous 4BR, 2.5 Bathroom ...

Be a Triathlon Volunteer!

Summertime is here and upon us Sparta residents, bringing a variety of exciting events to our area. Well, Pass It Along is BACK with the 9th Annual Triathlon at Lake Mohawk Country Club, located in Sparta, on Saturday, July 28, 2018!

This athletic event draws in several hundred people, both participants and spectators, to Lake Mohawk. Volunteers are needed to assist with the event in ...

It's Time to Swim, Bike and Run with Pass It Along!




“If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race it’s up to you.”  – Dave Scott (Triathlete)

Join us on Saturday, July 28 at 7:00 am at the Lake Mohawk Country Club for the 9th annual Pass It Along Triathlon! ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video

NEWTON, NJ - The Sussex County Freeholders July 11 meeting video


Volunteers needed to help at blood drives

July 18, 2018

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED- New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), which supplies blood to hospitals throughout the state, is in need of volunteers to help at blood drives. The blood drive volunteer is an integral member of the blood collection team whose task it is to assist donors with registration and/or at the refreshment area. No medical background necessary.  Volunteers should have the ability to ...