CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - Thirteen children were taken to a hospital Tuesday night after their guardians thought they accidentally ingested alcohol at a Little Village restaurant, but police say none had alcohol in their systems.
Six adults and 13 children were at Home Run Inn at 4524 W. 31st St. about 9:40 p.m. The group ordered fruit punch drinks for the children, and when the waitress brought out the drinks, the group complained they were one drink short.
The waitress went back to the bar and saw a lone drink, the same color as the fruit punch in a similarly-sized cup, and brought it to the table, police said.
The little girl complained to her parent that the punch tasted funny, and the parent smelled alcohol in the drink, police said.
The waitress came back to the table and took all the cups away from the children, police said. When officers arrived, the 7-year-old told officers she drank from the cup. A moment later, all the kids told police they had drank from the cup.
Briana Berry and her daughter were among the parents and children attending a kids birthday party at the restaurant.
"I tasted it and sure enough there was alcohol in the drinks," she says.
"I know it was alcohol so I got nervous and I had to throw up," her daughter, Kenya recalls. "I didn't make it to the bathroom."
All of the children were taken to a local hospital, but none had even a trace of alcohol in their systems, police said.
The restaurant complained that the group left without paying their bill, police said, but no citations were issued. Police said all the restaurant's licenses were up to date.
"When you're running a restaurant or anything, you're supposed to make sure you got grown-up stuff separate from anything that deals with the kids," Chaleia Berry says. "I understand people make mistakes, but I was mad because they didn't show no remorse."
On Wednesday, an agent for the Illinois State Liquor Control Commission visited the restaurant.
In a statement, a spokesman for Home Run Inn says: "we are aware of a situation... (and are) currently working with staff to conduct an internal investigation."
A spokesperson for the Liquor Control Commission says the agency could impose penalties depending on the outcome of its investigation, but if it turns out this was just an accident, it's more likely they will work with the restaurant on an action plan to make sure it doesn't happen again.
FOX 32's Dane Placko contributed to this report.