Police act against 'party buses'

Police act against 'party buses'

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign police and Illinois State Police have issued multiple tickets in connection with "party buses" coming to Champaign from other college campuses.

According to a police report, state police stopped the "Wild Nites" party bus at Prospect and Bradley avenues in Champaign at about 11:22 p.m. Thursday.

The report said the party bus was taking 60 students from Bloomington-Normal to Champaign campus bars.

After police conducted a motor carrier safety inspection on the bus, the bus was relocated to the Champaign Police Department parking lot for safety reasons.

During the safety inspection, police found alcohol on the bus and found that the majority of the occupants were under age 21.

Police then ticketed 51 people for minors in possession or consumption of alcohol, and one person for unlawful use of an identification card.

A 19-year-old woman was taken to an area hospital for what police described as "severe alcohol incapacitation."

After one person ran away from police, officers caught and arrested a 19-year-old Naperville resident for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor, obstructing identification and resisting a peace officer.

Following the safety inspection, state police put the party bus out of service for several violations, including having the emergency exit on the rear of the bus bolted shut, preventing it being opened from the interior or exterior.

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District provided a bus for shelter for the students while they arranged for rides back to Bloomington-Normal.

Champaign police are asking that people with information about this or other "party buses" call Champaign police at 351-4545 or remain anonymous by calling Crimestoppers at 217-373-8477 (TIPS). Tips may also be submitted through http://www.373tips.com or text by sending CCTIP plus the information to 274637 (CRIMES).

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Orbiter wrote on April 30, 2013 at 1:04 am

Nice of the police to protect these out-of-town partygoers from the hazards of a bolted-shut emergency exit on an occasional bus trip.

Now why won't the police (or fire department) protect the locals from the grocery stores in town which, although open 24-hours, routinely barricade and lock their main doors (fire doors, as illuminated by interior signage) in the late-night hours such that half the store becomes a fire-trap?  Specifically County Market on Duncan, but also other operations from this and other chains.  

Do these stores not remember the many examples of death during emergencies because of obstructed exits?  Providence, RI anyone?  It wasn't that long ago.  Yes, I understand the security concerns of the stores, but at some point protection of profits became far more important than keeping honest customers safe.  Seriously, these stores should be cited and fined tens of thousands of dollars for this outrageous management practice.  And the store managers should be jailed for a few weeks, too.  It is a REAL safety issue.  I note the fire dept. is real good at counting occupancy of local bars on weekends... too bad they care less about the safety of mothers buying milk for their babies.

rsp wrote on April 30, 2013 at 2:04 am

You should start taking pictures when you see it and filing compaints. I do think the buses sound like a crisis where people who are impaired are getting into a situation they can't handle, endangering others as well. 

Joe American wrote on April 30, 2013 at 7:04 am

Isn't the anonymity of the internet wonderful as one cah hide behind their veil of ignorance and continue with their daily grind, unscathed?

Before making such uneducated statements - and this goes for Orbiter, too - it helps too be familiar with building codes and how egress doors work.  Even without the doors in operation, they still meet the minimum required egress for the building.  And those doors that you cannot enter through after 10:00 p.m.?  They're likely break-away doors which will operate in the egress direction given the minimum amount of pressure to open them.

Orbiter wrote on April 30, 2013 at 11:04 am

Listen, JoeAmerican, that County Market on Duncan routinely barricades the exit from the outside with 200+ shopping carts.  Even if you could manage to wedge the door open, you wouldn't be able to escape the building.  And yes, the door is a signed "exit".  Your assumption that the doors are merely locked, and are break-away doors is irrelevant.  The doors might as well be absent entirely, the exit is still completely obstructed.  The place is a fire trap.  Go see for yourself before criticizing others from behind your "veil of ignorance".

Joe American wrote on April 30, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Been there/seen it.

I stick with my original comment.  You really should read the entire post before turning a party bus story into a bashing of the "evil corporation" thread.

lcoil79 wrote on April 30, 2013 at 5:04 am

If you see a signed exit locked and or barricaded, call the police on them as that is a safety/fire violation.  However, if the doors are just turned off so they won't open or close, you need to look more closely at the doors first.  Most if not all electric sliding doors like you find in grocery stores have a failsafe emergency exit feature that the doors can be opened by pushing them to swing the whole thing outward.  If the door has a little yellow sticker (almost a 3x15 inch little) near the bottom that says emergency exit, it's not really obstructed.

rsp wrote on April 30, 2013 at 6:04 am

A good example of this would be the Walgreen's at Cunningham and University Ave. Chaining a cart to a door would be a violation. Maybe the employees are used to seeing it there but should there be an emergency a customer could get confused and keep trying to push the cart out of the way. Considering I see police and fire personel in there all the time and in other places that do this I don't think calling will do much good. They are looking the other way.

sameeker wrote on April 30, 2013 at 7:04 am

You don't think that they would go after a corporation do you? That would cost them so much that their profit margin would disappear.

justmwa wrote on April 30, 2013 at 9:04 am

Providence, RI. was a packed nightclub fire with one working exit everyone was trying to get out. Epic fail. I don't think you have to worry too much about a stampede herd trying to escape a fire after hours in a grocery chain store. Now you might have to do some running to the working exit, but i think you'll make it. The nightclub fire vs. County Markets or Wal-Marts is apples and oranges in comparison. Stage pyrotechnics igniting the ceiling and eighties era hair saturated with hairspray & fritz made that place go up like a roman candle.

annabellissimo wrote on May 03, 2013 at 2:05 am

If you have a legitimate safety complaint about any business, why are you writing about it in a newspaper report about a "party" bus?  Why aren't you contacting local authorities?  Clearly you have some agenda about the store you are alleging has safety violations.  Do you expect the newspaper to do an inspection? Do you expect readers here will do an inspection?  Have you reported this to anybody with authority to actually do an inspection?  No?  I didn't think so.  You are alleging something potentially serious about a local company - and doing so anonymously - and I think your motives might be questionable, unless you are willing to cite names, dates, and proof that you have actually attempted to do something REAL about the problems you allege.  I hope the newspaper asks the store you malign to respond to your allegations and I hope they require your name because if your allegations are untrue, you may have just made public statements that that business might take serious issue with.  Are you by any chance what is so euphemistically called a "disgruntled employee"?  Wasn't that door you complain of readily available to you when you wanted to use it to go outside for a smoke at your convenience?

FRO wrote on April 30, 2013 at 1:04 pm

The police stopped a bus apparently with mostly underage drinkers, the bus was put out of service due to some safety issues, and tickets were given to the "underage drinkers"  what does the county market have anything to do with this issue. Why don't you people quit rambling on about nothing.  If you need company, why don't you call someone that really cares, instead of making stupid comments that most people could care less about. If the police hadn't stopped this bus, you people would have complained that the police did nothing.

Jsmith68 wrote on April 30, 2013 at 3:04 pm

FRO your comment is right on the button.  Has everyone lost sight that a bus load of underage kids from another town are coming over on a bus and drinking, then getting dumped off in our town to deal with.  As for the locked door, ever seen a bus crash, I have, very few ways to get out, that is the reason for the emergency back door.  So if this bus would have crashed, you think the parents of these kids would have been filing mulitple law suits, you better believe it.

sameeker wrote on May 01, 2013 at 7:05 am

Complain about the profit motive of city governemnnt and suggest that the public organize groups to stop and frisk the police, to be sure that they are on the level, and you get censored in a republican paper.

Joe American wrote on May 01, 2013 at 11:05 am

No, you get censored in the arena of common sense.

Frisk the police?  Let me know how that works out for ya.....

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 01, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Last night's news reported that the owner complained that the C-U police were purposely targeting groups of out-of-towners coming to C-U to party.  Duh... for sure. One girl in the hospital, underage drinkers on the bus, and one driver with a bus load of drunks.  This was nothing more than an organized illegal activity on the part of the bus owner motivated by money.

Joe American wrote on May 01, 2013 at 1:05 pm

That's absolutely correct.  His problem is that he allowed booze on his bus so opens him up to the possibility of some liability.  If he was smart he'd have ran late night charters, no booze, and what the revellers do on their own time remains their responsibility.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 01, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Yes.  That would be the smart thing to do rather than blaming another community's police for picking on him.  Maybe, he will pick another party town like Springfield.  If he did it when the General Assembly is out of session, there would be more hookers available also.

annabellissimo wrote on May 03, 2013 at 2:05 am

I'm going to go out on a limb here in this swamp of really strange and irrelevant comments about grocery stores and say that the police deserve gratitude and commendation for this, and any similar, actions.  This is the essence of acting for public safety.  This bus is out on the highways, for one thing; this bus company is exploiting the stupidity and decadence of people willing to break the law to poison their own bodies and endanger themselves and others. Could any bus driver be certain of being able to control all conditions on such a trip? The overwhelming idiocy of this kind of drinking in contemporary America is exceeded only by the overwhelming idiocy of the hypersexualization of everything in America, and often the two go hand in hand. How many hospitals in American college towns have to treat America's "youth" every weekend (or even more than that) for alcohol poisoning, for traffic accidents, for sexual assaults, for injuries incurred in fights or falls?  All that doesn't even address the reports from employers of recent college grads (or did, back when American still had jobs for recent college grads) that they had to require that too many of them had to be referred to company rehab programs for alcoholism.  It's a big problem in this country.  This event of the police and the "party bus"?  It's a good thing. Be glad the police did it.  I am amazed at what all the police must have to encounter night after night because yahoos in college towns think getting drunk is the thing to do. The drunks were not of legal age to be drinking. The bus was unsafe. It was a corrupt, decadent thing for a business to be doing. The police should be thanked.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 03, 2013 at 7:05 pm

The country went to Hades when the flappers started doing the Charleston!

I am glad that this bus business is being discouraged; but it should not be seen as a crusade.  I do not drink alcohol; but I have no objections toward others legally drinking even if they are college students.  Alcohol consumption, and sex are not  contemporary social phenomenons.

annabellissimo wrote on May 03, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Sid Saltfork:  You may feel smug making a dismissive comment about my assessment of some serious social problems among contemporary college students. You might want to listen to the following news report about another town, another event, that aired on today's NPR "All Things Considered."  The town is Madison, Wisconsin; the students are University of Wisconsin students. They are but one example of a rampant problem in that segment of American society. You can listen here:

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/03/180900109/pre-exam-party-grows-into-violent-drink-fest-in-madison   Maybe you have also heard about the annual bash in Virginia Beach, Virginia and the destruction and criminality that accompanies the college students and their drinking there. Maybe you have some awareness of what spring break trips are like "these days". I don't know your age or experience or knowledge, but it ain't Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon these days, ole Sid.  These big bashes are recreated in college towns across the country every weekend on a slightly smaller scale. No, of course, drinking and sex were not invented recently; but there is a different norm out there now that is more recent. Maybe you think that's a good thing. I don't, but I also have no idea what to do about it. For now, I'm just glad the police got a bad bus full of drunken jerks off the highway.

Sid Saltfork wrote on May 04, 2013 at 9:05 am

I can only hope that parents instruct their children on right, and wrong.  It is not my place to be a substitute parent for them.  It is not my place to decide what is moral, or immoral.  It is not my place to push for prohibition laws on social issues.  If it were my place; I would be required to be involved with the social issues of abortion, alcohol consumption, substance use, and skirt lengths.  I would have to decide on whether a woman can have the right to her body.  I would have to decide on whether alcohol can be banned.  I would have to decide on so many things even though they do not apply to me.

Of course, I am glad that the police are stopping buses like this.  I think that the business owner is slime.  However, that is far as I go.  My spring breaks were not playing on the beach.  They were spent working.  When there was R & R; it was not with Frankie, and Annette.  I came of age in the 60's.  Getting drunk on a bus in a college town was minor in comparison to my experiences.  However; I lived it, and enjoyed it.  Things really have not changed that much.  "You can't always get what you want...."