Police: LaPorte man bought teen booze before alcohol poisoning death
Police say a St. Joseph County teenager's blood alcohol content was more than five times the legal driving limit when he died. The toxicology report for 18-year-old Andrew "AJ" Tarquino reportedly says his BAC was 0.4%, prompting a coroner to rule he died from alcohol poisoning. Friday, prosecutors charged the man who admitted he bought that alcohol.
Court documents detail a night of drinking that ended tragically. His friends were only a few feet from him when it happened.
"He was not a drinker at all. He didn't like seeing people drunk, he didn't like drinking," said Tarquino's brother, Norbert Jones.
The fact that alcohol was involved at all is just one part of the case that baffles Jones.
"He didn't smoke, he didn't do drugs. Again, he was real focused on his career and he wouldn't let anything stand in the way of that or do anything to prevent that from happening," Jones continued.
Tarquino graduated from Michigan City High School in the spring and was part of Michigan City's Police Explorers program.
"He was looking to further his career as a police officer," Jones said, describing his brother as a kind, thoughtful person who was always there for others.
Instead, officers are now investigating his death. First responders found Tarquino lying on the back of a flatbed trailer August 10 at 8:30 a.m. According to court documents, they also found empty beer bottles and an empty vodka bottle in the yard off Timothy Road near New Carlisle.
Court documents also say Eddy admitted he bought that alcohol and watched Tarquino and other teens drink it as the group sat around a fire pit. At some point, Eddy said he saw Tarquino pass out and begin vomiting.
According to investigators, Eddy and others carried Tarquino to the trailer to sleep it off but no one checked on him until the next morning.
"There's so many unanswered questions," Jones said. "I don't know the situation but I feel that maybe that lapse in time could have made the difference."
Officers arrested Eddy in LaPorte Friday and booked him into the St. Joseph County jail around 12:45 EDT. He posted $1,000 bail and bonded out at 1 p.m.
Eddy is tentatively scheduled to appear in front of a judge for arraignment on Tuesday.