APTOS (KCBS / KPIX 5) — A small get-together in Santa Cruz County on Saturday night ended with several hundred people causing major damage to a home, after word spread about the party through text messages and social media sites.
The party started as a small party at a home in the Aptos Hills—a community near Santa Cruz. The homeowner told KPIX 5 she went out and left her 16-year-old daughter home alone to bake cupcakes and watch a movie with three friends.
But after word went out via text messages and Facebook, a raucous crowd of nearly 300 young people turned up.
“It was an out of hand mob crime scene, that’s what it was. What we were calling it,” the homeowner said.
Neighbor Chris Tomkins tried to turn some of the kids away, telling them they were trespassing and that police were on their way.
“The kids just need to realize that 300, 400 kids cannot descend upon a neighborhood without any respect for all the other people in that neighborhood,” Tomkins said.
Photos posted online showed attendees broke a couch, damaged the floor and hung from a ceiling fan. They also ransacked the drawers after someone announced it was his home and they were free to take everything.
“They need to be responsible, if they see someone’s house getting torn up, are you just gonna stand by and watch? No. You need to take some responsibility,” the homeowner said.
The 16-year-old couldn’t control the crowd, escaped with the family dog and called 911.
“It was an out of control, outrageous house party that the attendees, I believe, vandalized and gave out the party giver’s address,” said Sgt. Christine Swannack of the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office.
Police arrived at the scene to find teenagers fighting, destroying furniture and looting. Multiple police agencies were called in help the break the party up. 18-year-old Anthony Arroyo was arrested on burglary and weapons charges, along with several other youths. The 16-year-old girl that hosted the party was cited.
Neighbors said that girl never had any intention of creating the chaos but her parents, who were returning home, want word of the party disaster to get out as warning to others.
The homeowner also had a message for anyone who might be judging her. “I absolutely do not believe that it was my daughter that made this happen. I can’t go see a movie at night? Is that what you’re saying? I can’t ever leave my 16-year-old at home alone?” she said.
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