EDITOR'S NOTE: Sheriff's deputies shut down a party of 100-plus rowdy teens Saturday, attracting a major show of force when some teens threw bottles at Orange County Sheriff's Department squad cars. The homeowner was arrested on the suspicion of obstructing and delaying an officer and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. In this letter, suspect Ross Pake tells his side of the story.
To anyone who feels it's their job to throw me under the bus without knowing the facts about what went on, perhaps you'd care to know what happened from the Dad who got arrested.
I have been a SJC resident for 18 years and with my wife raised three children here. I am a law-abiding citizen, taxpayer and past president of my homeowners association. When my straight-A student daughter asked me if she could have 30-40 friends over for her birthday, of course I said yes.
Party started at 8. At 10:15 I took eight pizzas down to a group of about 60 kids. No problems. By 10:30 the crowd had grown to about 100 and the deputies arrived for the first time. I spoke to them and promised to shut down party immediately. They left.
In next 20 minutes things got crazy as news of the party apparently went viral from kids texting and messaging. For every kid I kicked out and asked to leave 10 more poured in.
When the deputies returned just before 11 with 25 patrol cars and 50-plus deputies and a helicopter, I wasn't sure if I was more alarmed by the kids (who were mostly leaving given the police presence) or by the army of deputies acting like MacArthur storming Normandy.
First patrol car on the scene doesn't stop at culdesac but races at 25-plus mph up my grass access drive with sirens screaming as kids are leaving. I was so alarmed by this entrance I verbally told an officer I objected to his entrance. Boy was that a mistake! Next thing I know, he's spun me around, handcuffed me and put me in back of his patrol car where I was handcuffed for almost three hours!
Next, 10-15 officers enter my home with guns drawn and search my entire house without a search warrant and handcuff my entire family plus three to four guests.
Did the party get out of control? Yes. Was it my fault? No. Did I condone the teenagers drinking or throwing bottles, etc.? Certainly not. Could I have done anything differently? No. Could three-four deputies have handled closing down the party without my rights or my family's being abused? I believe so. Could this happen to any parents of teenagers? It absolutely could!
To my neighbors, I sincerely apologize for the noise and the scene caused Saturday night. If you know me, you know that I would never condone anything like what took place. I am a good parent and community member. To those who think they have a right to criticize me and throw out my business info without knowing the facts, shame on you.
Angry and Abused in SJC