Arrested at Little 5…Now What?

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Posted in On May 4, 2014

Arrested at Little Five in Bloomington? Now What?

Though many parents would like to deny it, almost every single college kid is either drinking underage at some point, or partaking in some type of lawless behavior — just usually in the privacy of their own apartments, dorms, or friends’ houses. Yet, without fail, that delinquent behavior seems to leak its way into the public streets whenever a large college event is occurring. Be it an IU Men’s Basketball Game or IU’s Little 500 (or “Little 5”), many upon many college students pour into the crowded streets of Bloomington to celebrate…whether for a valid reason or not! It could be for tailgating with friends, playing “bags” with frat buddies in the frat house lawn, or social drinking on the porch of your home, there always seems to be a smorgasbord of students doing everything BUT studying.

And, obviously, when events like these occur, the police are out in force just looking for an excuse to arrest someone. That couldn’t be more prevalent than the Little 5 in Bloomington. Often falling in late-April and in the midst of the first great stretch of weather in months, the Little 5 is a bike race where teams compete to race around an oval while drunk students cheer on (yes, it is more complicated than that, but that’s pretty accurate). Bragging rights are on the line for fraternities, co-ops, and other social organizations that are competing, and as benign as the race is itself, by watching the vitriol of the crowds that attend, you’d think sovereign territories were at stake at being invaded and war was looming!

Regardless of if the cheering seems for a good reason or not, many students find themselves in the middle of a melting pot of poor decision making by those around them (if not themselves!). A simple equation:

Youthful Indiscretion + College Hormones + Substance Abuse = A Toxic Combination

Police are not ignorant of said equation —- and what happens when you have tons of police in the same place as tons of underage drinkers? ARRESTS. And, tons of them!

In fact, in 2014 the IU Police Department arrested an astounding (and record-setting) number of kids….235! Click here to read an article about the event and arrests.

But what are the commons arrests at the Little 5? Without question, alcohol (and other substances) lead the way. The most common arrests involving alcohol are: Minor Consumption/Possession, Being Under 21 in a Tavern, Buying or Supplying Alcohol to a Minor, Possession of a Fake ID, Public Intoxication, DUI, etc. Marijuana, Paraphernalia, and ecstasy are often found aplenty around the track and surrounding party areas as well.

A close second is violent or mischief related arrests: Disorderly Conduct, Battery, Assault, Intimidation, Criminal Mischief, Criminal Recklessness, Resisting Law Enforcement, Conversion etc.

To Learn More About Each of Those Crimes, Click Here.

Regardless of the type of arrest, the result is often the same — an arrest, a booking of the student, a formal arraignment before a judge, the bond is paid or the person is released, a ticket or fine is issued, and then a phone call is made to unsuspecting parents by the defendant…very reluctantly of course. This is often followed by lecturing, threats to withdraw you from school, and other extortions, right?

Even more interesting, over half of the arrests made in 2014 were for not Indiana University students! That means kids from all different cities, schools, university campuses, and counties were in attendance and committing crimes at the same rate as those that live and go to school there!

Because of the sheer number of people cited, many of those arrested are led straight into a diversion program whereby they have to appear before a judge again, are required to take an alcohol class, and must perform community service work. In exchange, the charges are often dismissed and don’t become a permanent conviction on an aspiring professional’s resume. This is obviously a great outcome.

However, some aren’t so lucky. Whether it’s because they have prior arrests or the arrests were for more serious matters, many find they don’t receive the benefit of a dismissal. That can leave your or a loved one with a lot of questions and concerns. It’s important that you hire an attorney that can answer those questions and make sure your rights are protected.

If you, your child, or a loved one has been arrested on IU’s campus for any reason, including Little 5, give our experienced litigators at Banks & Brower a call today. We are available 24/7/365 at (317) 870-0019 or at