About 75 attendees to a college party were cited for underage drinking late Thursday at an Altoona apartment building, city police said Friday.
In the wake of the party involving Penn State Altoona students, the building at 1204 14th Ave. was condemned Friday by the city Department of Codes & Inspections, police said.
Police responded to a two-fold complaint of noise and possible underage drinking at 11:15 p.m., and officers came into contact with a large group of people both inside and outside of the building, Lt. Jeffrey Pratt said.
"Just as many occupants of the party escaped as we cited," said Pratt, who estimated that Thursday night's party bust was one of the largest in recent years. "We just didn't have enough officers on hand to corral that many people."
Three of the 74 people arrested for underage drinking also face more serious charges.
Amanda Bowers, 18, of 415 Cedar Hall was charged with false identification to law enforcement, scattering rubbish and forgery; Justin Culp, 19, of Glen Mills was charged with forgery, providing false identification to police and unsworn falsification to authorities; and Jessica Enger, whose age was not provided, of 3058 Gwin Road faces charges of obstruction of justice, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, according to the Altoona police docket.
The apartment building was condemned due to conditions inside after an inspection by the fire and police departments, Pratt said.
The building had fire extinguishers that had expired in 2007 and had no smoke detectors or emergency lighting, Pratt said.
It had only one point of entry and egress for the basement, where much of the party took place, and a broken sewer line in the basement left raw sewage bubbling up through the basement floor.
"We wouldn't have known about the code violations unless we had made entry into the party," Pratt said, who added that he'd been told the landlord of the building is currently living in Florida.
Police also recovered 26 bags of marijuana from the building, but Pratt didn't know yet the size of the bags or how officers came across them, he said.
Officers have been called to the same building numerous times for complaints of large-scale parties. They were unable to cite attendees or the tenants because they locked themselves inside until police were forced to clear for other emergency calls, Pratt said.
Penn State Altoona police assisted at the scene, college spokeswoman Marissa Carney said.
"It's certainly surprising and disappointing especially during the first week of classes," Carney said. "We take this very seriously and have measures in place to combat underage drinking. It's not tolerated, and there can be consequences through the school."
The largest number of arrests from a single college drinking party during the last five years is the 44 who were cited after Logan Township officers broke up a party in August 2009 on Woomer Road, according to police and Mirror archives.
Mirror Staff Writer Scott Muska is at 946-7435.