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Teen-Age Host Charged in Fatal Fall of Drunken Youth

July 03, 1986|DENISE HAMILTON | Times Staff Writer

A La Canada Flintridge teen-ager has been charged with providing alcohol to minors in connection with a pay-for-admission party he hosted in late May at which a 17-year-old boy died.

Joseph Miller Lutz of La Canada Flintridge was killed early May 31 when he fell from a second-floor balcony at the home of Simon D'Arcy of Lavender Lane, where the party was held a few hours earlier.

D'Arcy, 18, was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled for arraignment July 22 in Glendale Municipal Court. The charge is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of $500 and six months in jail.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office and the Los Angeles Sheriff's homicide detective who investigated the case have ruled Lutz's death accidental. Coroner's spokesman Bill Gold said Lutz died of head injuries.

A coroner's report completed last week showed that Lutz had a blood alcohol level of 0.13% when he died, Gold said. Under California law, anyone with a blood alcohol level of 0.10% is considered intoxicated.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Judson W. Morris Jr. said he filed charges against D'Arcy at the request of the Sheriff's Department.

400 Teen-Agers at Party

"Charges were filed because this kid bought booze and furnished it to other kids at the party," Morris said. Four hundred teen-agers attended the party, he said.

Disturbed by a string of such large teen-age parties recently, La Canada Flintridge Mayor O. Warren Hillgren said he has asked the Sheriff's Department to take a strong position against teen-age drinkers.

In response to Lutz's death, the city has also passed an ordinance which outlaws pay-for-admission parties in the city. Los Angeles County has a similar ordinance.

Simon D'Arcy could not be reached for comment. His father, Domenic D'Arcy, declined to discuss the case.

Los Angeles Sheriff Department investigator David Horton said teen-agers paid $2 or $3 to attend the keg party, where beer was served. About 10 p.m., La Crescenta sheriff's deputies broke up the party, but six teen-agers, including Lutz, decided to spend the night at the D'Arcy home, Morris said. Lutz was last seen watching TV about 1 a.m., Morris said.

Body Found on Patio

At 6:30 a.m., his body was discovered on the patio. Sheriffs' investigators seized $1,149 in cash from admission fees and a rubber stamp used to identify paid party-goers, Morris said.

As part of its crackdown, the Sheriff's Department in an unrelated case has issued citations to a La Canada Flintridge liquor store employee who sold alcohol to minors and to several adults who purchased liquor for minors.

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