More than a dozen people were arrested on alcohol charges early Saturday morning at Payson High School Principal Roy Sandoval’s home while he and his wife were out of town.
Nine juveniles and five adults were charged with minor in consumption of alcohol and a 24-year-old male was charged with DUI at the home in the 300 block of West Grace Lane, said Payson Police Chief Don Engler.
Sometime around 1:45 a.m., April 25, police received a call from neighbors reporting a noise disturbance at the Sandoval home, Engler said.
When police arrived, they stopped a vehicle leaving the scene and detained Jonathan Robert Millard, 24, for DUI.
When those inside the home saw police officers approaching they bailed — out the front door, the rear door, windows and even off a second story landing, police said.
Four officers were able to detain all of the individuals at the party except for one man who got in a altercation with two officers and was able to run off.
One officer suffered a minor injury to his forehead because of the scuffle. Police are still trying to identify and locate that man.
After detaining the partygoers, officers conducted portable breath tests. Seven male juveniles, all 17 years old, a 14-year-old female and a 16-year-old female were arrested and charged with minor in consumption of alcohol. Four 18-year-olds, junior Chamberlain Fitch, an Arizona Academic Scholar; senior Bryan Andrew Burke, a wrestler, football and track player; Taylor Jeffrey Day, and senior Shane Eli Keith, an Arizona Academic Scholar and basketball and football player and Kaitlynn Ann Wilson, 19, were charged with minor in consumption of alcohol.
Sandoval said he and his wife were out of town visiting their daughter when they got a call from police around 4:30 a.m.
He later learned that his juvenile son had held a party at the home, but it soon got out of control, Sandoval said.
“I have children and I have a son and he is a great student and a great kid and is human and makes mistakes and he will have consequences at school and at home,” Sandoval said.
“I am horribly disappointed, and as parents, there is a certain degree of humiliation. We were caught completely by surprise.”
The police are handling the criminal side of the investigation and the school is dealing with the students according to school policy, Sandoval said.
Because his son is involved, Sandoval is staying out of school discipline and letting the school’s athletic director and vice principal handle any school action.
School policy says if a student is also an athlete they are suspended for three weeks.
“My son made a huge mistake, but I have faith he will continue in his pursuit to be valedictorian and take every advanced placement course in preparation for the university and regain his credibility as a servant to the community,” Sandoval said.
Parents were called to pick up their children from the home, with the last arriving around 7 a.m. Several other people at the home were not charged, Engler said.