It’s a scenario that wouldn’t be out of place in any Hollywood coming-of-age film: a teen’s well-intentioned party quickly spirals out of control — leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.
While that might make for great filmmaking, it’s no joke for one teen and her family who are now on the hook for an estimated $20,000 in damages from a very real rager.
Const. Jeff Palmer with the West Vancouver police said it happened last Friday, when police were called to a home on Ottawa Avenue near 24th Street around 8:30 p.m.
He said officers arrived to find “somewhere in the neighbourhood of 200 youth appearing to be in their early-to-mid-teens flooding out of a house.”
Palmer said the organizer, a 14-year-old girl, had booked the house using an online rental service and her parents’ credit card. The parents were unaware.
It proved to be an expensive choice. Palmer said the party quickly grew beyond the girl’s control as attendees proceeded to trash the place.
“The damage is some smashed artwork, furniture that was smashed, walls kicked in, furniture and other articles tossed off a balcony into a hot tub, very extensive damage that would take some effort to clean up, let alone repair,” he said.
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Palmer declined to name the rental service used to make the booking.
He said it appeared that the plan had been to invite about 40 people to the gathering, but that word spread quickly — likely through social media.
The homeowner attended the aftermath, took stock and pegged the damage as being somewhere in the ballpark of $20,000, Palmer said.
The girl’s family has promised to pay for the repairs, and Palmer said the homeowner isn’t pressing charges.
But Palmer said everyone involved has a lesson to learn.
“In terms of young people thinking it might be a good idea to have a party at any place where it could be difficult to control who shows up… to a parent who would want to review how much access to and control of banking information their teenager has,” he said.
“And to anyone who has a property listed on any rental agency or online site, what steps are you taking to ensure who is actually showing up to rent your property, and what is their purpose for that.”