Indianapolis police raid large party at abandoned warehouse near University of Indianapolis campus

Warehouse owner, bartender cited

INDIANAPOLIS - The owner of an abandoned warehouse on Indianapolis' southeast side has been ticketed after police shut down a large party near the University of Indianapolis campus.

Campus police caught wind of the party on Saturday at an old tool business in the 600 block of East Hanna Avenue, and when officers arrived, they said they found hundreds of people dancing as a live band was playing in the rear warehouse portion of the business.

Police said cars filled the parking lot and loud music was coming from the rear portion of the business, so officers entered a large industrial garage door where plastic was draped down to obscure the entrance.

Officers wrote in their report that a bartender was serving drinks from a fully stocked bar, while propane bottles were being used to heat food that was for sale at the event. 

Police noted that no temporary permits had been issued to allow for the sale of alcohol or for food to be served.

Police also said that a stop-work order had been affixed to the front window of the business, indicating that city inspectors had not allowed any customers to occupy the building for any business purpose.

Officers said they ordered the band to stop playing and told at least 300 partiers to leave, after a city fire inspector arrived and ruled that several fire dangers and other hazards existed at the late-night party.

Inspectors noted blocked exits, open burning candles, plastic being used to cover items in the crowded areas, as well as unapproved wiring and open flames on the cooking equipment.

The building's owner, Refugio Montes, 45, was issued four citations -- failure to obtain entertainment/amusement permit, dance hall ordinance violation, failure to obey stop work order blocked exits and failure to obtain food preparation permits from the city health department.

The bartender, identified by police as Herbert Estrada, 21, was cited for serving alcohol without a permit.

No arrests were made, and all of the tickets are for misdemeanor crimes.

When the Call 6 Investigators visited the site on Tuesday afternoon, workers were focused on electrical repairs in the warehouse area. Montes could not be located for comment.

Videos are posted on YouTube of several recent "warehouse raves ," but it could not be determined whether those videos were connected to or recorded at the same spot.

The party was located a few blocks away, and on the same street, as the UIndy campus.

Police said that when they asked Montes whether he had obtained any permits for the large party, he answered that he had not.

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