A call for help to both the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Signal Mountain Police Department was received Thursday at approximately 1:46 a.m. The caller advised he was in the Edwards Point area of Signal Mountain with people chasing him. When deputies arrived, they found a large crowd of juveniles scattered all over Edwards Point, and all but five had been drinking alcohol.
Walden’s Ridge Rescue and Hamilton County Emergency Services responded to assist law enforcement in the search effort for the reported caller and to help with the underage drinking party. Due to the large crowd, a Corrections Division van was called to assist in the transport of 17 juveniles to the Juvenile Detention Center, while four adults were taken to the Hamilton County Jail, all charged with drinking under age.
The initial caller was finally located around 4 a.m. and checked by Hamilton County Emergency Medical Services for his well-being and then released.
According to patrol supervisors, parties involving juveniles drinking has become a huge problem in that most are held in dangerous areas or at lake access points during the night and into the early morning hours. The problem has become such an issue for Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office that citations will no longer be issued to offenders involved in this type of activity, but instead will be arrested and transported to jail or the Detention Center.
Officials said, "When law enforcement agencies are called to incidents such as this, it ties up resources and manpower for long periods of time. Hopefully, young people who become involved in this type of risky behavior will stop before someone is hurt or a death occurs."
Charged as adults were Alexandra Anderson, 18, of 1806 E. Brow Road; Zachery Frisbee, 18, of 4335 Hassler Road; Stephen Wilkins, 18, of 4823 Rolling Meadows Lane, and Trevor Thompson, 18, of 3008 Fairmount Pike. All are from Signal Mountain.