Metropolitan Police officers arrested seven GW students last Friday night during a sting operation targeting underage drinking at several local bars, including the Froggy Bottom Pub and Tequila Grill, GW officials said.
David Pine, director of Student Judicial Services, declined to comment on the cases.
“This was a special operation,” said MPD Lt. Pat Burke, who spearheads the city’s crackdown on underage alcohol use. “The bar crawl was to find underage individuals who were using fake IDs. We arrested 50 individuals during the operation.”
Officers entered a University-registered “crush party” hosted by GW’s Delta Gamma sorority at Tequila Grill to randomly check IDs. Two members of the sorority were taken in police custody.
One student arrested at the Froggy Bottom Pub said officers selected people from the crowd to check IDs.
“All we were doing was sitting at a table at the very back with a pitcher of beer and cards,” said one under-age student arrested at about 12:45 a.m. Saturday morning, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Another under-age student arrested at Froggy Bottom did not admit to drinking but handed an officer legal identification, which was enough for police to make an arrest.
Burke said all students nabbed in the operation were given a fine or taken to jail depending on the severity of the cases.
SJS also investigated the students.
Two students arrested at Froggy Bottom said they are upset SJS charged them with use of fake IDs as well as underage possession of alcohol, because they said they did not use a fake ID.
MPD sent 30 officers to catch underage drinkers Friday night.
“We arrested one student for possession of cocaine and others for public urination,” Burke said. “But the target of the operation was fake IDs.”
Some students at Tequila Grill said that police officers harassed them during the raids.
Bouncers at Tequila Grill and Froggy Bottom check IDs against a book that informs them what each state’s license looks like. Managers at Tequila Grill said the two students MPD arrested used IDs of people who closely resemble them.
Burke said the bars that were searched did not receive fines because they were unaware that the individuals in question were under age.
The raid was one of many carried out by the D.C. police to curb the use of fake IDs, Burke said.
In December MPD announced a renewed effort to crack down on bars that serve minors. Police Chief Charles Ramsey started the program, called D.C. Cares, after Georgetown student David Shick died from injuries related to a blow to the head he received during an alcohol-induced fight in February 2000.
The program, officially called the Capital Alcohol Reduction Effort, directs local legislation and attempts to create a city-wide student culture to promote responsible drinking.
-Jason Steinhardt contributed to this report.