15 Year Old Found DEAD Drunk After Christmas Party

15-Year-Old Dies After Drinking at Family Party

Saturday, December 27, 1997 Page A18
Copyright 1997 San Francisco Chronicle

Patricia Jacobus, Chronicle Staff Writer

South San Francisco detectives are investigating the death of a 15-year-old boy who may have drunk himself to death at a family Christmas Eve party, police said. Ruben Castro drank beer, wine, champagne and hard liquor in excess despite steady warnings from the 30 or so people at the party held by Castro’s aunt and uncle, said Sergeant Chuck DeSoto. According to police, sometime between 3 a.m and 5 a.m. on Christmas Day, a relative dragged Castro’s limp body to a couch in the garage, where he was to sleep off the intoxication. He never woke. His aunt and uncle found him at 10:30 a.m. Christmas Day lying face down on the garage floor, DeSoto said. It was not clear how Castro, who was still wearing his party clothes, ended up on the floor. “There are no indications that he was sick, no signs of trauma or physical abuse or fights, nothing at all like that,” DeSoto said.

The cause of death has not been determined, but detectives said alcohol poisoning is a possibility. Results of toxicology tests that will show the boy’s blood-alcohol level are pending. Police also are investigating whether adult relatives and friends were serving drinks to Castro that may have contributed to his death, DeSoto said.

Family members told police that Castro, who was a restaurant dishwasher, had been staying in the garage of his aunt and uncle since he moved from Mexico about six months ago. The teenager reportedly had a history of drinking too much, DeSoto said.

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