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Airbnbers hold wild house party in Bath

Posted at 7:15 PM, Jul 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 13:37:33-04

A house party hosted by an Airbnb renter got out of control in a Cleveland suburb Friday night.

Bath Police said at one point, around 300 people filled the home in Bath Township. As officers tried to disperse the crowd, they heard shots fired.

From London to Australia and here in the U.S., reports of wild vacation house parties are on the rise. Many of these parties are made possible because of vacation rental sites, like Airbnb, HomeAway and Booking.com.

In the latest case in Bath Township, neighbors first complained about the loud noise and reported a fight breaking out in the front yard.

“Things just kind of mushroomed and more people came,” said Police Chief Mike McNeely.

While police were clearing out the party, they said a 17-year-old was shot in the knee in a drive-by shooting right outside the house.

McNeely said the host of the party, De Vonna Fields, 19, claimed that she only meant to invite a few people through social media.

“I have seen the flyer that was sent out via social media,” said Chief McNeely, “It just had four different contacts, and people could contact that, and find the location of the party.”

The homeowner declined an interview with News 5, but told police that the party was in violation of her agreement with Fields.

News 5 reached out to Airbnb to find out how often parties like these take place.

According to Airbnb, out of the more than 30 million trips in 2016, only .009 percent of the stays reported significant property damage.

The company also offers reimbursements through a host guarantee program and performs background checks on both renters and rentees.

Airbnb sent us this statement:

"Our hearts are with the victim of this senseless and unacceptable violence and we are working to assist the Bath Police Department to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice."

Police said De Vonna Fields will not be charged for holding the massive party, because their priority is looking into who is behind the shooting.

However, the Airbnb spokesperson said Fields is now banned from using Airbnb.

The company also advises homeowners to look at the reviews of the renters, before renting out their property.