Atlantic Beach 18-year-old, father arrested during birthday party

Joseph A. Horton 

An Atlantic Beach teen and his father were arrested Saturday after police broke up a large party where minors were drinking alcohol and consuming drugs, according to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office police report.

Two Atlantic Beach police went to a house in the 300 block of Fifth Street at 9:49 p.m. about a call of an open house party. Officers said they heard loud music blaring as people were walking in and out and the home.

Officers said they saw about 200 juveniles in the house's backyard. As officers walked in the backyard, the juveniles were drinking beer and ran away at the sight of the officers.

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Officers were unable to arrest anyone because of how big the party was.

After surveying the area to make sure no one was passed out on the property, the two officers found the host of the party, John W. Horton.

Police found Horton watching TV in the house's living room. Horton told officers his son, Joseph A. Horton, was hosting the party to celebrate turning 18 years old.

Horton said he told his son he could have the party but to not have any alcohol at the event.

At 8 p.m., Horton said there was no one in the backyard. Police said he did not check on the party after 8:30 p.m. despite the growing number of teens and loud music.

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Police reported that Joseph Horton said his friends brought alcohol and did not try to remove it from the party.

At 10:04 p.m., police said there was a dispute among 20 people on Francis Avenue.

Police told John Horton to shut down the party at that point.

Police said they checked on the house a second time to find about 50 teens in the backyard sitting with Joseph continuing to drink alcohol.

As police tried to shut down the party again, they reported seeing a teen jump over the fence to avoid them and smelled marijuana in the backyard.

Police reported seeing a 14-year-old in possession of a bottle of tequila.

Joseph and John Horton were arrested and taken to jail without incident.

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