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Couple maintains their innocence, say they were falsely arrested at Forsyth Halloween party



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November 13, 2012
FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — For 12 years, the Phelans have provided a safe house for Halloween parties.

"At every one of those parties over the 12 years, there has not been alcohol served to underage individuals, and no individuals underage allowed to drink at their parties," Abrey Villines, an attorney representing the Phelans, said.

On Halloween night, Oct. 31, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office arrested the couple, Julie B. Phelan, 47, and Dr. Michael K. Phelan, 52, in their Laurel Springs subdivision home and accused them of "contributing to the delinquency of minors," a misdemeanor.

Now, the Phelans want to clear their names.

"No one was drinking and no one was served alcohol," Villines said.

According to an incident report, there were three 17-year-olds found outside of the home, who tested positive for alcohol. They were all cited for underage possession of alcohol and one of the three was taken to the hospital to be treated for alcohol poisoning.

Villines said the men were found in the bushes and the woods and had been denied entrance into the party.

But all of the underage youths inside the home, who were tested with a breathalyzer test, came back negative for alcohol, a claim that is backed by the sheriff's deputy incident report.

"They are completely and totally innocent and were wrongfully, falsely and maliciously arrested," Villines said. "I would expect not only the charges would be dropped, but I would expect an apology from the sheriff's office."

The Phelans are scheduled to appear in state court on Jan. 11.

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Tags: Government & News & Crime

  1. report print email
    surprised?
    November 13, 2012 | 10:43 PM

    is anyone really surprised by this? its no shocker the FCSD were aggressive and didnt take into account innocent until proven guilty.

    henry rollins
    cumming
  2. report print email
    arrest of couple
    November 13, 2012 | 11:28 PM

    have you considered that Forsyth does NOT require high school education for police officers ? what does that tell you !
    Any person throwing a party cannot control morons who show up !! da..

    shame on them

    thomas Brown
    Swanee
  3. report print email
    Heaven Help Them...
    November 14, 2012 | 08:49 PM

    Now, the worst thing they can do is demand a jury trial. Leave it with the judge. I have served jury duty enough to be terrified at the prospect of having my freedom decided by the average reasoning skills in our society.

    Jolly Roger
    Cumming
  4. report print email
    STORY
    November 15, 2012 | 09:55 AM

    IT'S SAD TO BE ARRESTED BECAUSE SOMEONE DRINKS ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ON YOUR PROPERTY WITHOUT YOUR CONSENT OR KNOWLEDGE THEREOF. THERE'S MORE TO THIS STORY THAN BEING LET ON.

    B. REECE
    CUMMING
  5. report print email
    Apology?
    November 16, 2012 | 12:21 PM

    Don't expect an apology from them, this is how our cities make money. Never mind that we have drug dealers living in our local hotels....


    Kate Boccia
    Alpharetta
  6. report print email
    Let's See How it Plays Out
    November 18, 2012 | 08:41 AM

    Henry - I think you are confused. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a principle the public, our court system, and the news media should follow when addressing criminal allegations. The system isn't perfect and sometimes innocent people are arrested, charged, and even convicted. But the Sheriff's Office shouldn't ignore citizen complaints or what they witness with their own eyes, presuming everyone to be innocent. If they did, we effectively would have no law enforcement. The police/deputies make the arrests and then the DA looks at the facts and decides what to drop and what to prosecute. We elect competent professionals to administer justice and we should keep our minds open while cases are being adjudicated, but let's not fool ourselves into believing that everyone actually is innocent.

    LS Homeowner
    Suwanee
  7. report print email
    Education Requirements
    November 18, 2012 | 08:52 AM

    Thomas, have you read the FCSO web site? It says deputy applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. I think you'll find this to be common among law enforcement agencies across the country. I'd like the requirements to be higher too, but that would become very expensive and I doubt that could be sold to the voters/taxpayers.

    LS Homeowner
    Suwanee
  8. report print email
    Drunk Teens
    November 18, 2012 | 09:20 AM

    I've attended a different "well-known" large Halloween party in LS over the past several years. I have never experienced any drunk teens or incidents like this. I attribute that to the hosts and how they manage the parties and the guests. If the party's tone is free and open, it will attract a certain element (i.e. drunk teens), regardless of whether they were inside the home or even invited. As a LS homeowner with children of my own, the prospect of drunk teens driving through the neighborhood on Halloween night is beyond frightening. Tragic "accidents" are often preventable and many times can be traced back to adults behaving irresponsibly, if not criminally. I agree with Henry that the Phelans should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but hosts also have certain unwritten obligations to keep the neighborhood safe by not attracting or tacitly allowing dangerous activity that could hurt innocent people.

    LS Homeowner
    Suwanee
  9. report print email
    ridiculous
    November 18, 2012 | 11:29 PM

    Dr. Phelan was my orthodontist and my brothers! I know for a fact they would never allow anyone under age to have alcohol. It was who they were, I was never allowed to try my moms margaritas/alcoholic drinks when we would go to their house, then again I was only in middle school/early high school. The phelans not allowing anyone underage to have alcoholic drinks is how they are and they are very well respected for it. They have 3 great children, one who is in college (I believe) why would they want to risk getting in trouble, just for their daughter to take a couple sips of alcohol. Like seriously. I'm about to turn 21 in january and I didn't take my first taste of alcohol until this past winter (early 2012). I've had too many friends die or become seriously injured from drinking and driving that I stayed far away from it, until recently. Why would the phelans risk everything they have, all the respect from people in LS and their friends and family just to let a few kids have some alcohol,....... THEY WOULDN'T!

    emily holt
    alpharetta
  10. report print email
    ridiculous
    November 18, 2012 | 11:29 PM

    Dr. Phelan was my orthodontist and my brothers! I know for a fact they would never allow anyone under age to have alcohol. It was who they were, I was never allowed to try my moms margaritas/alcoholic drinks when we would go to their house, then again I was only in middle school/early high school. The phelans not allowing anyone underage to have alcoholic drinks is how they are and they are very well respected for it. They have 3 great children, one who is in college (I believe) why would they want to risk getting in trouble, just for their daughter to take a couple sips of alcohol. Like seriously. I'm about to turn 21 in january and I didn't take my first taste of alcohol until this past winter (early 2012). I've had too many friends die or become seriously injured from drinking and driving that I stayed far away from it, until recently. Why would the phelans risk everything they have, all the respect from people in LS and their friends and family just to let a few kids have some alcohol,....... THEY WOULDN'T!

    emily holt
    alpharetta
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