Residents of a normally quiet Potomac neighborhood say their weekend tranquility was disturbed by more than 1,000 people who jammed the area around Travilah Road and Brushwood Terrace for a 30-hour private party. Some complained that the police response to their complaints of drunken and disorderly behavior, trespassing and verbal abuse by youthful party goers was inadequate.
A Montgomery County police spokesman said 40 officers were called from other districts Sunday to patrol the area but made no arrests. However, 10 persons were arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated at a roadblock near the party. Police said they received about two dozen complaint calls. The estimate of 1,000 party goers came both from police and residents.
Lt. Mason Gray, of the Germantown station, said a decision was made not to close down the party, which began about 3 p.m. Saturday and ended at about 10 p.m. Sunday, primarily because the party itself took place on private property -- a field and adjoining house at 12650 Travilah Rd. "I think we may have been understaffed," said Gray, "but it may have been a case where you just want it to sort of fizzle out, if there are no major problems and no real danger."
Sgt. Harry Geehreng, a county police spokesman, said the property is owned by a District resident who is in the process of evicting the current tenants.
None of the tenants was available yesterday, but Shirley Guillette, the mother of one, said that her son, Kenneth Guillette, was one of the party's hosts. She said the party has been held each spring for four or five years.
Capt. Robert Renfrew said the police received notice of the party from residents but were told only 300 or so were expected. Renfrew said it was from this estimate that he and others decided additional police coverage would probably not be needed.
Resident Samuel H. Seymour said he began calling police at about 10 p.m. Saturday, seven hours after he saw a crowd beginning to gather, and police pleaded lack of manpower.
Seymour said police cruisers did respond to a couple of calls but were generally ineffective, "because they just didn't have the numbers. But when there was a policeman there, some of the people did disperse and did leave my property. I just think it was poorly handled."