DA’s sons in drinking party bust
District Attorney Pete Hautzinger said Tuesday his two teenage sons will answer to both the court and him — at home — after they received summonses alleging underage consumption of alcohol at a weekend party.
Hautzinger said by phone that his sons were supposed to be in the care of relatives and not staying in the home.
Hautzinger said he and his wife left for vacation Saturday morning and considered coming home early after learning of the party Saturday night. They have decided to continue their vacation.
Twenty-six teenagers received summonses Saturday alleging underage consumption of alcohol at the Hautzinger home.
A small gathering of friends playing video games and barbecuing got out of control when other teens showed up with alcohol, Hautzinger said. A neighbor called police after hearing the loud party, he said.
“My wife and I do want to publicly thank the neighbors who called police,” he said. “We might not have known that the boys did this if they wouldn’t have called, as loud as this was.”
The teens’ summonses will be handled by municipal court, which is not within Hautzinger’s jurisdiction.
“My kids will be taking full responsibility for their actions, both in court and behind closed doors in the house,” Hautzinger said.
According to summonses issued to two teenagers who were older than 18, police interviewed about 35 people in the home whose ages ranged from 14 to 18, and many were “obviously intoxicated.”
“The juveniles were interviewed one at a time to discover if they had been drinking alcohol or not,” the summonses said.
John Zen, the Grand Junction Police Department’s deputy chief, said police officers handled the case that involved Mesa County’s top prosecutor the same as they would any other citizen.
Zen said authorities attempted to call Hautzinger the night of the party “to let him know what was happening in his house.” They were unable to reach Hautzinger by phone at that time, but he was notified later of the incident by his ex-wife, Zen said. In similar kinds of cases that involve high-ranking officials, a phone call would be made as a courtesy, he said.
“It was pretty cut and dried,” Zen said. “The officers did what they should have done. I’m glad they did what they did. It would have been a nightmare if they didn’t.”