Weekend party could cost teens more than $30,000
LONDON, ONT. -- A weekend party could cost a trio of room-mates more than $32,000 after police laid charges against the teens under the Reopening Ontario Act.
All was quiet on Mill St. Monday, but that was not the case on Friday when police say they attended a residence in the 100 block and broke up a party with about 100 people, none of whom were seen wearing a face covering. London mayor Ed Holder could barely contain his frustration when he spoke to the media by virtual news conference Monday.
"I’ve come to the conclusion that you can’t fix stupid but you can fine it."
Police have charged an 18 year old man and two 19 year old men each with hosting an indoor gathering of more than ten people. Each faces a minimum fine of $10,000 under provincial rules. They’re also each charged with taking part in a gathering over ten, which comes with fines of $750.00.
All told, the accused could be facing combined fines of $32,250.
Holder became emotional when he talked about those who could be affected by the alleged actions of the teens.
"They are likely young enough and healthy enough to overcome anything related to COVID. But you know what they are killing their parents, they are killing their grandparents and maybe they don’t care but as mayor of this city I have to care and maybe I have to care for them more than they care for their families."
Two Mill St. residents who identified themselves as members of the Greek community fraternity at Western University, said often they’re often associated with parties, but in this case they believe the behaviour of their neighbours was irresponsible.
"We see activity all the time," said Sean Mendes. "The fraternity paints a target on our back. That’s why we’re trying to be, you know, acting responsible. We’re not hosting anything. We’re just trying to lay low."
"We know everyone’s been stressed with the lockdown," added Clarke Keenan. "But it’s all we can do right now. Continue being safe and look for best practices."
It’s the second such gathering in two weeks to receive the charges. The hosts of a gathering on Beaufort St. late last month also face a fine of $10,000. Middlesex London Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie said it makes their job of contact tracing all the more challenging.
"One of the reasons why this sort of party is such a party is a nightmare from a COVID perspective is they generally don’t keep lists of those in attendance so it can be very difficult to track down all of the people."
Police said they’re also investigating a second party in the northeast part of the city. And while this one was smaller, police say there were more than ten people.
"Do not host a large gathering," implored London Police media officer Cst. Sandasha Bough. "Do not attend a large gathering. We won’t hesitate to act in relation to these particular charges."
The three men charged in the Mill St. gathering are scheduled to appear in provincial offences court February 08, 2021.