July 26, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria homecoming queen facing charges after cops are called to party

ELYRIA — The Elyria High School homecoming queen is facing charges in Lorain County Juvenile Court after she hosted a party at her home on Harwood Street with loud music, alcohol and more than 60 kids.

Elyria Homecoming Queen Emily Norris, 17, a senior. (CT photo by Chuck Humel.)

Police were called to the home shortly after 12:30 a.m. Sunday and it took almost three hours for the parents of all of the partygoers to arrive to pick up their teenagers. Partygoers hampered the efforts because they refused to open the door for officers, a police report said.

Emily Norris, 17, was charged with underage possession of alcohol and obstructing official business. She was released to her father and was told to expect more information in the mail to tell her when to appear in court.

Norris was crowned homecoming queen during Friday’s game. Elyria High Principal Tom Jama said Norris will not be stripped of her title.

Jama said the school’s resource officer informed him of the party Monday morning and he began rounding up students suspected of being in attendance. Each was interviewed separately and asked if they were drinking or were in possession of alcohol.

At least 15 were student-athletes, including several football players. Jama said the students who are not athletes were not interviewed.

“But the athletes are put to a higher standard,” Jama said. “There is a drug and alcohol policy whereby if students are found to be in possession of drugs or alcohol, even if they are off school property, there are consequences for those students.”

Jama said after the interviews it was found that none of the athletes were drinking, in possession or under the influence of alcohol at the party and as a result will face no school discipline.

Homecoming King Fayaven Barbee did not attend the party, said his mother, Valerie Barbee. He was at home, she said.

The party took place after the homecoming dance at the high school. It was not sanctioned by the district and, according to a police report, there was no adult supervision.

Officers went to the home after receiving a complaint from neighbors about loud music and open containers outside the home.

Once at the house, officers saw two teenage males standing in the driveway and noticed several people inside the home and attached garage. However, as soon as officers made their presence known, the lights were shut off inside the home and the blinds and curtains were closed.

The report said officers stood outside for several minutes knocking on the door and yelling through windows to no avail and had to call for more officers to secure the front and rear of the home. The police dispatcher called the home several times and officers could hear the phone ring through open windows.

After a while, officers left the immediate area and parked nearby to see if any of the partygoers would leave. The report said moments after clearing the area, at least 20 kids came out of the house, at which time officers quickly drove back up and began rounding kids up.

Officers entered the home after Norris reluctantly opened the door because she did not want officers to damage it while attempting to apprehend multiple fleeing suspects.

In all, about 60 kids were found in various places in the home.

The report said all of the teens 18 and older were released and minors were released to their parents.

Norris’ mother, Michelle Ryan, was out of town at the time and was notified about the party by police.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.