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Mequon police face federal lawsuit for breaking up "underage drinking party"

Updated: 1:58 p.m. November 1, 2018

William Jones, Mequon City Administrator, released the following statement today:

“On the evening of October 31, the City of Mequon was made aware of a recently filed federal lawsuit related to an October 2015 party at a Mequon residence. The City takes this lawsuit very seriously, and the allegations will be thoroughly reviewed.
“The Mequon Police Department is committed to fostering community partnerships and positive relationships between the Department and all City residents. The Mequon Police Department is made up of men and women who are dedicated to protecting and serving the community. The organization works hard to maintain the standards expected of a professional law enforcement organization. In the meantime, the City will await service of this lawsuit and respond as appropriate.”

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Posted: 8:44 p.m. October 31, 2018

MEQUON (CBS 58) – Mequon police face a federal lawsuit after breaking up what they thought was an underage drinking party.

The party happened on Halloween night in 2015 at a house on N. Gazebo Hills Parkway East.

The recently filed lawsuit says it started with teens playing video games, and ended with 17 officers pushing through their front door.

“I remember coming home that night and there was a bunch of squad cars with the lights on,” said Bob Merar who lives right across the street.

“When we got home there wasn’t that much noise going on so I don’t know that there was too many kids there but there was some action going on in the house but, it’s a party,” said Merar.

But Mequon police thought that party was against the law.

A federal lawsuit says police received an anonymous tip that teens were drinking in the home.

Officers tried to knock, but no one answered.

The lawsuit says police saw teens inside, and an officer looking through a window in the backyard saw liquor, but didn’t see anyone drinking.

That’s when officers woke up a judge and got a search warrant.

Three hours after they first arrived, and with around  17 officers on scene, they forced their way through a the door.

“Mequon has had a policy of busting underage drinking parties, and they’ve always done a little bit overkill with sending the police being there,” said Merar.

Of the 12 kids inside, only four had alcohol in their system, but they say they drank before they arrived.

The teen who lived in the home, John Reardon, was arrested at the scene.

He and his father Todd Reardon are now suing the city and the police, saying their civil rights were violated.

“I’m not surprised, with what they do on underage drinking at some point I think that some of the actions are way too much and they probably need to relook at their policy on that,” said Merar.

The lawsuit is alleging police had no right to arrest Reardon because there was no proof he gave alcohol to any minors.

It also says the search warrant was obtained illegally, and the bust violated Reardon’s constitutional protections against unlawful searches.

CBS 58 reached out to the Mequon Police Department and the city of Mequon, but did not hear back.


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