By Bob Uphues
Riverside police charged a 48-year-old woman with endangering the life of a child after paramedics were called to a home in the 100 block of Herrick Road just after midnight on May 28 and reported finding several "highly intoxicated" juveniles in the basement, including a 14-year-old girl who was unconscious.
Police and paramedics responded to a 911 call reporting a possible alcohol overdose and were greeted at the door by a woman who told them she didn't know about anyone calling 911.
While an officer was talking with the woman, a girl ran up from the basement "frantically screaming and crying" about a 14-year-old having a seizure. Police found the 14 year old on the floor, unconscious but breathing.
Other juveniles in the basement said to police and paramedics that they'd been drinking tequila, which they'd taken from under a sink on the main floor of the home. One juvenile reportedly collapsed while talking to a police officer.
Police later determined that alcohol had also been brought in from outside the home. The unconscious 14-year-old was taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for treatment and police cited five minors for possession of alcohol by a minor or being under the influence of alcohol.
All of the minors were girls between the ages of 14 and 17, police said, and lived in Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside.
The homeowner reportedly told police she was not aware that the girls were drinking alcohol. She was issued a local ordinance violation citation regarding parental responsibility for underage drinking parties and charged with endangering the life of a child, a Class A misdemeanor.
"This could have easily turned tragic as the juvenile could have possibly died from alcohol poisoning had police or medical assistance not been called," said Police Chief Thomas Weitzel. "I am glad that at least one juvenile called 911 to report that the 14-year-old juvenile was not conscious and paramedics were needed."