By TONYA ALANEZ
WEST BOCA – Three charter buses had been booked, several hundred West Boca Community High students had been invited, a party pad had been rented and stocked with booze, pot and stripper poles for a post-prom bash. But it was foiled before it began, a police report said.
It was just hours before party time on April 12 when the Martin County Sheriff’s Office caught wind that a mega bash was set to go down at a Palm City Airbnb.
“They were almost on the buses,” said Lt. Ryan Grimsdale, of the sheriff’s office. “But they never got on the buses and the buses never left Palm Beach County.”
For $80 a head, students would get a bus ride and access to a smorgasbord of intoxicants at a three-story home at 3380 SW Grass Trail in Palm City, Grimsdale said.
JELLO SHOTS AND JOINTS
“They had Jello shots, they had every mixer, they had high-end liquors, they had beers, they had it all,” Grimsdale said Tuesday. “This would have rivaled any bar in Martin County that day.”
Dozens of marijuana joints had been pre-rolled and put out for the taking, an incident report said.
Plastic covered the floors, stripper poles had been installed and balloons floated atop the swimming pool. Stereo speakers and strobe lights were set up and garbage cans filled with ice were on hand, according to Grimsdale and the report.
Why the stripper poles?
“My understanding was that they intended to have a Jello/bikini dancing contest,” Grimsdale said.
On the second and third floors, the bathrooms had been transformed into makeshift bars and stocked with booze, Grimsdale said.
Thomas Levin, 19, of Boca Raton, legally rented the house, an incident report said.
According to the report, Levin told deputies he had no idea who “brought all the liquor and drug paraphernalia.”
No one was arrested.
“We couldn’t put the alcohol or drugs into anybody’s possession,” Grimsdale said. “We couldn’t prove it.”
The other option would have been to bust minors attending and leaving the party, he said.
“We were forced into a situation where we knew that if we allowed the party to continue there would be underage drinking.”
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder “would never tolerate us putting public safety in jeopardy for the sake of (arrest) stats,” Grimsdale said.
It was a school security guard at West Boca Community High, 12811 Glades Road, who tipped off Martin County authorities after he learned on social media about plans for an alcohol- and drug-induced house party, according to the incident report.
The homeowner, Jochen Mertl, lives in Austria and works with a local property manager.
The property manager told investigators she had no clue about the imminent shindig and was “in awe and rather shocked” to see the home decked out and stocked for a night of celebration and revelry, the report said.
The planned party violated the rental agreement, the property manager said, and she voided the contract.