INDIANAPOLIS - A northwest Indianapolis bar was cited early this morning after police found 80 minors - some as young as 13 years old - inside the bar.
When officers from the Indiana State Excise Police and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's Nuisance Abatement Unit arrived at Early Bird Bar & Grill, 8311 N. Michigan Road, around 1:45 a.m., they found 80 minors inside, including dozens who were drinking alcohol.
Police initially went to the bar to investigate a flyer advertising a 13-year-old girl's birthday party. They ended up arresting 80 minors for being in a tavern, more than a dozen of whom were also charged with illegal consumption or possession of alcohol. One person was also charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor after bringing her 13-year-old sister (not the birthday girl) to the bar.
Excise officers cited Early Bird Bar & Grill, also known as Pancake House, for 80 counts of allowing a minor to loiter and one count of altering floor plans without approval. IMPD's Nuisance Abatement Unit cited Early Bird Bar & Grill and bartender Garcia Martinez, 27, of Indianapolis, for violating three city ordinances: No dance hall permit, allowing minors to loiter and allowing minors to violate curfew.
Excise police officers will seek revocation of Early Bird's alcoholic-beverage permit when this case is reviewed by the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission.
"The State Excise Police will continue to collaborate with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and other agencies across the state to curb the access and sale of alcohol to minors," Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. "Moreover, excise officers will continue to work with the alcoholic-beverage industry to ensure voluntary compliance with the law. But blatant violations like those reported here will result in immediate enforcement action."
Juveniles cited this morning were released to their parents and will appear in Marion County Juvenile Court on future dates. Others will appear in Marion County Superior Court on future dates.
As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana's Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.