A 17-year-old boy drank at a graduation gathering of teens outside the home of the Mille Lacs County attorney.
A 17-year-old boy became so drunk at a graduation party outside the home of the Mille Lacs County attorney that he passed out at his Milaca home and required hospitalization, authorities said.
Given the Memorial Day incident’s connection to the home of County Attorney Jan Jude, the investigation has been turned over to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Department to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.
Jude is married to Russell Jude, a Mille Lacs tribal police officer, and they have a daughter who is graduating from Milaca High School.
Authorities have yet to say whether any adults were at home during the late-night party in a field near the Jude house, northwest of Foreston.
In an interview published Wednesday by the Mille Lacs Messenger, the 17-year-old said he brought a 1.75-liter bottle of vodka to the party, drank all of it and ended up with a blood alcohol content of 0.21 percent.
The newspaper said the party occurred in a field, a short walk from and on the same property as the Jude home.
In a statement she released Wednesday, Jan Jude said:
“It has been reported that a juvenile exhibiting signs of alcohol consumption was on my property during a graduation party for my daughter. It has also been reported that there are other minors [who] have said they consumed alcohol on my property. I had no knowledge of any of these events occurring on my property until these reports were brought to my attention.”
Her statement went on to say she supports the investigation into the underage drinking and “will fully cooperate.”
The 17-year-old’s parents told the Messenger that they called 911. Sheriff Brent Lindgren said in a prepared statement that deputies and medical personnel found the teen about 1:20 a.m. on May 27 “unresponsive but breathing and intoxicated” at his home in Milaca. He was taken to Fairview Medical Center in Princeton.
A deputy then traveled about 5 miles to the Jude home, near where the teen had been drinking, and called the residence seeking to speak with the owner. The deputy’s presence prompted several people to flee into the woods.
After leaving the hospital, the 17-year-old told authorities that he had been drinking at the Jude property after arriving there for a bonfire party.
Anyone with information may call the Crime Stoppers tips line anonymously at 1‑800-222-TIPS.