Business is hurting for an east end bowling alley after several teens were arrested at a party thrown over March Break.
“We’re flabbergasted by the negative swing … when we completely feel it was a complete success,” said Orléans Bowling co-owner Roch Henry.
“I was there the entire time.”
The ‘all age rave party’ held March 11 was on the radar of Ottawa police.
More than 5,600 Facebook invitations had been sent out and numerous messages made reference to underage drinking and drug use.
Police were expecting 600 people to attend the event, along with several persons of interest.
Around 180 kids showed up.
Overall, three underage teens were arrested on narcotics charges while 150 were denied entry for being drunk or carrying contraband.
Thirty-seven people received warnings or liquor act or trespassing notices.
Through social media, police concluded 200 to 300 people opted out due to the visibility of cops.
Officers confiscated 25 beers, 40-oz containers of gin, vodka, and rum, 15 g of pot, 4 g of heroin and ecstasy pills.
“Nothing was seized from the inside — absolutely zero,” said Henry.
“No uniformed officer was ever inside the premises.”
Sgt. Scott Pettis of the East Neighbourhood Office backed up Henry’s statement.
“None of the arrests that were serious were made on the property,” said Pettis, adding cops were on the scene from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“The three (young offenders) that we got, they were the persons of interest.”
Some intoxicated patrons made it inside, but “you can’t stop them all,” Pettis said.
The event was organized by Boombox DJs, Henry said, and the bowling alley took precautions beforehand, ensuring they had insurance.
Extra security — about a dozen guards in total — was hired and the police presence outside was “what we wanted,” said Henry.
The Liquor License Act permit only provided for 268 people.
Henry maintains they “only sold $300 worth of alcohol” and made booze available to parents and anyone over 19, who wore two wristbands and stayed in a designated area to consume their beverages.
“Everybody had bracelets,” he said.
The bowling alley has a reputation for being a family-friendly venue, said Henry, and the kids inside had some wholesome fun, holding a dance competition and doing the Harlem Shake.
Meanwhile Pettis wants parents to monitor their teen’s social media profiles.
“I’m positive parents don’t know,” he said.