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Police Find Drunk Teens at Bonfire Party Near Harvest Woods Park

Police said a large group of South Brunswick teenagers were underage drinking early Wednesday morning at a party in the woods off of Culver Road.

Several township teens were taken into custody in the early morning hours Wednesday after police discovered a party involving underage drinking near Harvest Woods Park.

South Brunswick Police spokesman Sgt. Jim Ryan said it's believed that between 20 to 30 South Brunswick High School students attended the large bonfire party about a half-mile back in the woods off of Culver Road. Township schools were closed on Wednesday in observance of the Yom Kippur holiday.

At about 12:20 a.m. Wednesday, police pulled over a 17-year-old township male driving on Route 1. After detecting alcohol on his breath, the teen was charged with drunk driving. Subsequent questioning revealed the teen had been at a large gathering near Harvest Woods Park, according to police.

Officers arrived at the scene at about 12:40 a.m. and were initially unable to find any signs of a party. After walking about a half-mile back into the woods, the officers entered a clearing and encountered a group of several teens between the ages of 15 and 17-years-old.

Police also found the smoldering remnants of a bonfire surrounded by a few benches made from lumber, a metal bench taken from the soccer fields at Harvest Woods Park, and a trampoline, according to police.

"The juveniles indicated that the party was over, but admitted there had been some drinking and a large gathering," Sgt. Ryan said.

Police also found an unconscious 16-year-old township male lying near the edge of the woods. Officers were able to wake the teen up and township EMS was called. The drunk teen was eventually turned over to his mother, who signed papers indicating she would take him home instead of the hospital, police said.

Officers spent about two hours in the woods making sure there were no other students in the area. The teens at the park were taken into custody and turned over to their parents. 

"The South Brunswick Police Department is investigating where these 15 to 17-year-olds got alcohol from and there will be charges filed against several of the people who participated," Sgt. Ryan said. "Getting charged with drinking under the age of 17 means they could be prohibited from getting their drivers license until they reach the age of 18. So we'll examine who will be charged with what."

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