TEMPE, AZ - Tempe police are cracking down on underage drinking after an Arizona State University student fell to her death following a fraternity party.
Sgt. Michael Pooley said 18-year-old Naomi McClendon attended an Alpha Epsilon Pi party Saturday night, where guests were charged $30 for unlimited alcohol. According to Pooley, the fraternity is not officially recognized by ASU, as they have been sanctioned in the past for various violations.
After leaving the party, McClendon visited a friend's apartment near Apache Boulevard and Rural Road. She fell from the 10th story apartment balcony around 2:30 a.m., police said.
"This is a stark reminder of the dangers of underage alcohol consumption," Pooley said.
McClendon's parents Nate and Judy McClendon released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
"We want to share our sincerest gratitude for the outpouring of love for Naomi and of tremendous support for our family. Although the power of prayer is unmeasurable, it is mighty, and we know all of the prayers and thoughts are helping to sustain us.
Although we grieve the loss of precious Naomi, the pure joy and love she inspired in us will remain foremost and constant. We take comfort in knowing that this most amazing person—whom we were privileged to have in our family as a gift for 18 years—lived her life fully and happily, with vibrancy and deep faith.
We are leaning on the arms of our Heavenly Father, and we feel blessed by the incredible love and support we have received."
In response to the increase in "alcohol-related problems", Tempe officers this weekend will be heavily patrolling from Broadway Road to University Drive and from McClintock Drive to Mill Avenue, as well as other known "party locations."
MCSO and DPS, as well Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and ASU police departments, also plan to target underage alcohol consumption and DUIs.