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Police say Fox Chapel party grew into problem

| Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 12:41 a.m.
Jan Pakler | For the Herald
Several police departments were called to break up an affair that numbered hundreds at a home on Hickory Hill Road in Fox Chapel.

No arrests were made at a Fox Chapel house party that spiraled out of control on Friday, but police Chief David Laux said it was one of the more bizarre events of his 30-year career.

The party at 107 Hickory Hill Road was intended to draw about 75 people.

But police responding to parking complaints from neighbors got an eyeful when they arrived to find about 700 partygoers, Laux said.

Resident Luke D'Orazio, 31, apparently was looking to make some quick money by charging friends $30 a head to party at his borough home, which sits off Field Club Road. He is not expected to face charges, Laux said.

“I do question his 31 years,” Laux said.

D'Orazio's father is the property owner. He was out of town.

If all of the revelers had paid the cover charge, D'Orazio would have collected about $21,000.

Police response to the event was heavy due to the sheer number of people on the property. Departments from across the Lower Valley responded about 11 p.m. and included Aspinwall, Blawnox, Indiana Township, O'Hara and Sharpsburg. Pittsburgh Police also were there.

Laux said there were underage teens at the party. But his priority was to dispel the crowd — which was twice as big as the graduating class of Fox Chapel Area High School.

“My main goal was to maintain the safety of the community,” Laux said. “We wanted to get them out of there and made sure they had rides home.”

Laux said it appeared the ages of those in attendance ranged from 18 to 23.

Police said they got some flak from partygoers who wanted a refund, but for the most part the bust-up was peaceful.

“The kids were reasonable,” he said. “We asked them to leave, and they did.”

Vehicles parking along the street caused a small amount of damage to neighboring lawns. D'Orazio has been ordered to pay for the cleanup.

It wasn't the size of the party, or even noise complaints that originally drew police to the property, Laux said. Guests ran out of space to park and began clogging up Field Club Road, angering neighbors.

“When we got there, we just shut down the road and made sure no one else showed up,” Laux said.

It took more than three hours to disperse the entire crowd.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, or tpanizzi@tribweb.com.

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