Some concertgoers at the Blues Traveler performance on Thursday, July 14 at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts got a little more than they bargained for. According to a Fairfax County Police report, 21 people were charged either with underage drinking or possession of marijuana between 6-9 p.m. that evening.
Most of those arrested were under 21, said Officer Mary Mulrenan of the Fairfax County Police Department. According to the report, the ages of those arrested ranged from 15 to 34.
Sixteen people were charged with underage possession of alcohol, and one was charged with both marijuana and underage alcohol possession.
Michael Cook, 31, of Rockville, Md. was charged with illegal purchase of alcohol for a minor, said Mulrenan. Christopher Bachtell, 33, and Kristi Bachtell, 34, both of Hagerstown, Md., were arrested for possession of marijuana. Everyone else arrested was under 21, said Mulrenan.
All those who were arrested were released on misdemeanor summons, said the report.
The number of people arrested Thursday night was not a large number, said park director Bill Crockett.
In August 2004, 46 people were arrested for underage drinking and drugs when the band OAR played at Wolf Trap. That was the highest number of arrests Wolf Trap had ever experienced, said Crockett, but then, the band was also playing to a crowd of 7,000 people.
Wolf Trap coordinates with Fairfax County Police and United States Park Police to patrol the park, said Crockett. Wolf Trap has been coordinating its drug enforcement efforts with county police for at least four years now. At the beginning of every year, said Crockett, the management at Wolf Trap looks at its upcoming season and what it expects in terms of security needs.
U.S. Park Police are there at every show, and their number varies based on crowd size, said Crockett. Fairfax County Police generally come when the park invites them, as was the case on July 14.
"We have some experience with [Blues Traveler] and I guess you could say that their crowd is not the same one as the National Symphony Orchestra crowd," said Crockett. "We have different needs for them."
On July 14, said the report, officers were undercover, on bikes and in uniform. They patrolled the parking lots as the crowd of about 3,200 entered the park.
"We wanted to catch the problem in its earlier stages, rather than as the night goes on," said Crockett.