Jackson County

15 seniors failed a breath test just before Pascagoula prom, cops say

Joseph Wilson
Joseph Wilson

A Pascagoula High School senior arrested just before his prom over the weekend was under the influence of alcohol, Police Chief Kenny Johnson confirmed Tuesday. John said the teen cursed the principal and cops, and tore up part of a squad car.

Pascagoula police arrested the 18-year-old on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and malicious mischief Saturday night outside the Hilton Garden Inn on U.S. 90. He’s accused of tearing up the foam padding covering the partition in the patrol car.

The student was one of 19 students aboard a charter bus parents had rented to drive their children to the prom. The only student who made it off the bus, Johnson said, was the one who was arrested because he created the disturbance as soon as he stepped off the bus.

Pascagoula police then boarded the charter bus and had each student blow into a portable breath analyzer to determine if they were under the influence of alcohol as well. Fifteen tested positive for alcohol.

“They were detained and their parents contacted to pick them up,” Johnson said.

Police also found liquor aboard the bus, resulting in the arrest of the driver, Joseph Wilson, 70, of Irvington, Alabama, on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Wilson had his own charter bus and drove some students last year as well, the police chief said.

The Sun Herald reached out to Pascagoula schools Superintendent Wayne Rodolfich for information on the incident and what action, if any, the school district is taking against the students. Rodolofich would not comment Tuesday, citing privacy laws for students.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45