Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Incident at Belton High School Homecoming Dance being investigated

The Belton Police Department would like to address concerns over reported drug ingestion alleged to have occurred at the homecoming dance at Belton High School on Saturday, October 1, 2022. 

The Belton Police Department staffed this event with two (2) off-duty police officers. During the dance, a student arrived in a highly intoxicated state and was stopped by school staff. The parents of the student were notified and requested the student be transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Many students observed this student being removed from the school on a stretcher and loaded in an ambulance. This incident is being handled between the school district and the police department with cooperation of the parents. Belton Police Officers were neither made aware of, nor did they observe any other students who were, or appeared to be, under the influence of any substances during the remainder of the dance.

On Sunday, October 2, 2022, there were several social media reports that students were “dosed” by unknown substances causing community concern. None of these alleged incidents were reported to the Police Department. After these reports continued to circulate on social media and local broadcast news outlets, the Belton Police Department assigned an investigator to probe any potential criminal activity that may have taken place.

The investigator proactively sought out those making allegations and any pertinent information to corroborate the allegations. The investigator reached out to students and parents/guardians to determine what may have occurred at the dance.

In addition, the investigator obtained building surveillance video and contacted other independent witnesses. The Belton School District and High School personnel fully cooperated in the thorough investigation.

This investigation involves juveniles thus we cannot release specific information identifying them or addressing each claim that has been made according to state and federal laws.

We are able to release that of the five (5) individuals making claims of potential drug interactions, three (3) tested negative for all substances. Two (2) students tested positive for controlled substances and the investigation is ongoing into how and where these students ingested these specific substances. One (1) of those two students that tested positive for a controlled substance did not complain of symptoms until several hours after the dance, which investigators determined could not have matched the time frame of ingesting a substance at the dance. This determination was also corroborated by trained and certified medical personnel.

The police investigation revealed that allegations that any food products may have been tampered with at the dance are false. This was based on surveillance video and corroborations with independent witnesses. There were several school staff members supervising the snack table the entirety of the dance. Additionally, this snack table was in view of a surveillance camera throughout the dance and that video has been reviewed by the investigators. Belton Police are confident that any individuals who might have consumed controlled substances would have done so independently, and that there is no evidence that the publicly available drinks, snacks and foods for students at the dance were tampered with.

The Belton Police Department will continue to investigate as more information develops in this case. Anyone with pertinent information is encouraged to contact SRO Tim Vogel of the Belton Police Department at 816-331-5522.

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