‘Home alone’ party ended in death

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A party held at the home of a teenager whose parents weren’t there ran seriously out of control over the weekend after word of it spread on social media. As many as 80 other teenagers showed up at the house in the small Norwegian town of Hokksund, and one of them ended up assaulting another with what’s believed to be a broken bottle. His victim bled to death.

Most of the people at the party were aged 16 to 18. The teenager who died was a 17-year-old male identified as Jonas Wendelborg Bråthen. Police have charged an 18-year-old male with serious bodily injury that resulted in Bråthen’s death.

“He’s in shock,” the defense attorney for the young man charged, Karsten Gjone, told newspaper  Drammens Tidende. “He’s in a terrible state.”

Police were initially called to the white wood-framed house in Hokksund by neighbours complaining about noise from the party. Police were delayed in arriving after a local official admitted to having other priorities on Saturday night, but they were on their way when the report of the bloody assault came in.

Witnesses said the 17-year-old victim was hit in the throat with a broken bottle. It apparently tore a main artery and Bråthen collapsed.

“There was a large gathering of local youth in the house,” Stig Rønneberg of the Øvre Eiker sheriff’s office told NTB. He said he couldn’t say whether the victim and the defendant had been invited guests or whether one or both of them had crashed the party.

Anne Malm Monstad, spokeswoman for the Søndre Buskerud Police District, said police were questioning others at the party and asking for any photos and videos that were taken. A custody hearing was set for Tuesday afternoon in the Eiker, Modum and Sigdal Courthouse.

A memorial page set up on Facebook had already gained “likes” from more than 13,000 persons by Monday morning, reported Drammens Tidende. Teachers took time on Monday to discuss the fatal consequences of the teenagers’ party with students on their first day back at school, and a memorial ceremony for Bråthen was being planned for later in the week.

“Home-alone” parties have been a major problem in Norway for years, especially in affluent areas where large homes, absent parents and rumours of free-flowing drinks attract large crowds.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund