Roughly 150 kids at house party, police investigating

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 2:04 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - What was supposed to be a watch party for the West Virginia University football game is now a police investigation.

“The plan was my 14-year-old was going to invite about 30 kids over to watch the WVU football game, we were going to have a pizza party,” Kanawha County Commissioner and owner of the house, Ben Salango said. “I ordered pizzas, had the pizzas delivered around 8:30 p.m., we provided water, Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew.”

Salango said it was within a 45-minute period that over 100 kids showed up in his backyard. He believes during the game, kids were using the Snapchat app to say there was a party and share the location which is why it grew so quickly.

“When we went out around 10:15 p.m. we probably had an additional (100) kids there that had come from other places, that had come from other parties,” he said. “They had backpacked in alcohol even though we were careful about making sure all the alcohol was locked up and certainly do not condone or tolerate underage drinking but they had brought it in.”

Salango said at that point, he and his wife, Kanawha Circuit Judge Tera Salango, started asking kids to call their parents to come and get them.

“We tried to get a handle on it at that point and quite frankly, it was beyond our capability,” Salango said. “So when my wife said she was going to call the police we were still running around trying to tell kids to call their parents to come and pick them up and then thankfully, police showed up and they helped get rid of the party.”

Charleston Police said they received a noise disturbance call around 11 p.m. Saturday night for a home in South Hills. Police confirmed to WSAZ that there is an investigation on the party that involves juveniles and Salango is cooperating.

Salango said two of the teenagers were injured as a result of the party.

Surveillance video of Salango’s backyard shows the party escalating and he did provide the video to police for the investigation.

“So kids in other places, even kids that didn’t know my son or my family came in. Some of them in large groups and they brought the alcohol,” Salango told WSAZ. “The party started as a pizza party for a football game and ended up in chaos.”

Salango said he has been in touch with the mother of one of the injured kids and that child is doing better tonight.

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